An Illinois man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after he strangled a teenaged girl to death in his home, where she met him to buy Disney memorabilia he was selling at a garage sale in 2019.
Iroquois County jurors on Monday found Arthur Jensen, 53, guilty of first-degree murder in the Aug. 5, 2019, death of 17-year-old Adara Bunn.
“I don’t expect him to live. He would have to be 99 or 100. I don’t expect him to parole out. I would expect him to die in prison,” Iroquois County Assistant States Attorney Mike Quinlan, who prosecuted the case, said of the sentencing.
Shelton, Illinois, is a “very small town,” Quinlan explained. Every summer, the town hosts a weekend-long event during which residents host garage sales throughout town.
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Jensen and his wife were hosting their own garage sale between Aug. 2 and Aug. 3, 2019. Bunn, who collected Disney memorabilia, noticed that the couple had a set of “Pocahontas” cups for sale, which she purchased.
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She came back to the Jensens’ residence on Sunday, Aug. 4, asking if they had any other Disney-themed items. Jensen’s wife was out of town for a high school reunion, and another man was helping Jensen pack items that did not sell back into boxes.
“They had a bit of a conversation, and Jensen had told her that she could come back the following day and see if they had any more Disney memorabilia,” Quinlan explained.
When Bunn returned to the residence that Monday, Aug. 5, Quinlan lured her inside and strangled her to death with a nylon chord.
Quinlan believes the crime was sexually motivated. The day prior, after Bunn left Jensen’s residence, her boyfriend stopped by the house and struck up conversation with Jensen, who “inquired about Adara and made some sexual comments,” the prosecutor explained.
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“I believe it was sexually motivated,” Quinlan said. “Now, he didn’t sexually assault her. He never got the chance. But it was clear … the day before, he had made and expressed statements of a sexual nature, and … I argued to the jury that when she came over, he likely made advances towards her. She rejected those advances.”
Two witnesses walked by the Jensens’ home at the exact time of the crime and heard Bunn screaming, “Stop,” “Let me go,” and “I won’t call the police.”
Quinlan believes the witnesses were crucial to the case and Jensen’s guilty verdict.
An obituary for Bunn says the 17-year-old girl “enjoyed reading, fishing, school amongst other things.”
“She was an all around joy to everyone around her,” the obituary states.