Editor's note: The Butch and Jeanie Jensen family is widely known in Emery County. They own the Tavaputs Ranch and are also part-time residents of Green River owning a home and residing there when they are unable to get to their ranch. Their son Tate was recently the victim in a murder/suicide situation that occurred in Carbon County. They have issued the following statement to put rumors to rest. We at the newspaper wish their family peace during the time of healing from their great loss.
Jensen Family Statement
The Jensen Family again expresses our sympathy to the family of Tate's assailant and wishes for them to know that no ill will is held toward them.
We also express our concern for the well being of the young lady who was present when Tate was murdered. We are thankful that she too was not a victim.
This young lady lost her husband in an industrial accident a few years ago. She was and remains a good friend of Tate's sister, Jennie. She often visited the Tavaputs Ranch and just a couple of weeks ago, stood as one of the maids of honor during Jennie's wedding ceremony held at the Tavaputs Ranch.
On the evening in question, this young lady drove to Tate's home and together they sat on the couch in his living room, watching a movie on TV. During the course of the evening, the assailant was sending text messages to the young lady, with each succeeding text message becoming increasingly more agitated.
The young lady told Tate that she feared that the assailant was outside of Tate's home. Tate stood up and was walking toward a living room window with blinds partially closed when the assailant fired two shots from a .44 magnum pistol through the glass window and blinds. Tate died instantly.
The assailant then broke the remaining glass from the shattered window and entered the living room in pursuit of the young lady. Thankfully, she was able to escape from Tate's home, get into her vehicle and leave the scene. She is the one who called 911.
The Carbon County Sheriff's office found Tate, fully clothed, lying on his back on the living room floor. The Sheriff's office found the assailant lying on the ground in the front driveway of Tate's home. It was apparent that the assailant had shot himself with the .44 magnum pistol.
The Sheriff's office later discovered the holster for the .44 magnum pistol in the back seat of the young lady's vehicle, leading them to believe that sometime during the evening, the assailant was sitting in the back seat of her vehicle while parked at Tate's home. The Sheriff's office observed the assailant's vehicle parked on Wood Hill Road at the lane entrance to Tate's home. The assailant apparently walked from his vehicle to Tate's home, a distance of about 1,000 feet.
We understand that the young lady had recently broken off her relationship with the assailant and that the assailant was unhappy with the break up.
We are unaware that there was any type of relationship between the young lady and Tate, other than being good friends. We are not aware that Tate had ever met his assailant.
We are hopeful this statement will satisfy media inquiries and that all families and friends involved can move forward with the healing process. The Jensen Family will have no further comment about this tragedy.