The fate of an Illinois man who confessed to a teenage girl’s strangulation death has been sealed.
Arthur Jensen, 53, was sentenced Monday to 50 years minus time served (about three and a half years) for the 2019 homicide of Adara Bunn, 17, per a press release from the Iroquois County State’s Attorney’s Office e-mailed to Oxygen.com.
According to CBS Central Illinois affiliate WCIA, the high school student was strangled to death on Aug. 5, 2019, after showing interest in a set of Disney-brand cups at a garage sale at Jensen’s home in Sheldon, Illinois — just less than 100 miles south of Chicago.
State’s Attorney James Devine told the local Times-Republic the sentence fit what the state requested. Per the release, Jensen’s defense attorney, Lance C. Cagle, recommended a 30-year sentence for his client, which was ultimately rejected.
“The family afterwards [was] very relieved and glad that this process is done, as far as the court process,” said Devine.
Photo: Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook
Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Quinlan told People that the case was “one of the worst murder cases I have ever seen.”
Bunn and her mother reportedly stopped at Jensen’s rummage sale on Aug. 2, 2019, purchasing Pocahontas-themed cups. The teen returned the following Sunday, hoping to meet Jensen’s wife to inquire about more Disney-brand memorabilia, but the wife was away for her high school reunion, Quinlan told People.
Jensen, who was then packing the sale items with a friend, instructed Bunn to come back the next day.
Deputies with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to Jensen’s W. Main Street residence at around 4:13 p.m., following reports of a “disturbance,” according to a press statement. Multiple local outlets, including Kankakee’s Daily Journal, cited a neighbor calling authorities upon hearing screams coming from Jensen’s house.
Police reports stated that once authorities arrived on the scene, Jensen said, “There’s a girl inside, and I strangled her.”
Bunn was found dead inside the home, and Jensen was arrested on the scene and charged with first-degree murder.
The results of a post-mortem examination published before Bunn was publicly identified listed the victim’s cause of death as “ligature strangulation.” Authorities did not publicly reveal whether Bunn was sexually assaulted, and a motive for the attack was never released.
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Defense attorney Cagle tried to have his client’s on-site confessions barred from the trial, which took place from March 3 to March 9, 2023, according to the press release. Ultimately, the jury found him guilty on two counts of first-degree murder after just one and a half hours of deliberations, the Times-Republic reported.
Jensen is ordered to serve the entirety of the sentence, which was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Michael Sabol.
“This was a young girl about to enter her junior year in a couple of weeks,” Quinlan continued to People. “She was a straight-A student who was hoping to become a veterinarian.”
Bunn was a student at Milford High School who — according to her obituary — went by “Sissy” and “enjoyed reading, fishing, school, amongst other things.”
Times-Republic reports Jensen’s defense has already started the appeals process.