Jury selection to begin for Michael Blagg in new trial

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Michael Blagg, the man who was once convicted of murder, will stand trial for a second time starting Wednesday.

It's a case that first started in 2001, when Jennifer and Abby Blagg were reported missing from their Redlands neighborhood.

Michael Blagg denied he did anything to cause their disappearance, but he was charged with murder after Jennifer's body was found in the Mesa County Landfill. Abby has never been found.

He was convicted in 2004 and sent to prison, but in 2014 that was overturned after a judge agreed that a juror lied on their questionnaire.

1,000 potential jurors in Golden will be answering questionnaires, similar to the one that led to the problems the first time.

In the years since his conviction was tossed out, his defense team has been trying to pinpoint who else could have thrown Jennifer's body into the dump.

The defense will be allowed to present testimony from two witnesses who claim to have seen Abby in Utah after she was reported missing.

Prosecutors also previously revealed they plan on using new DNA evidence, confirmed to be of Abby, to test unidentified blood stains found in the Blagg's Redlands home and the family's van in 2001.

Opening arguments are scheduled to get underway Monday. KJCT, along with Dateline NBC and Denver TV station KUSA-TV petitioned to have cameras in the courtroom for the trial. The judge denied that request, saying all the pre-trial publicity would limit Blagg's chance to get a fair trial.

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