Day three of the Lee Christensen trial began at 9 a.m. at the Emmet County Courthouse in Estherville on Monday with the honorable Judge David Lester presiding.
Both parents of the defendant, Lee Christensen, testified today. The Christensen’s were individually questioned on the events of June 6 and 7, 2015, the day Thomas Bortvit was murdered and the day his body was recovered, respectively.
Dean and Denise Christensen had gone to a wedding of a family friend on June 6, causing them to not be home most of the evening. The morning of June 7, Denise and Lee left for Arizona, as Lee planned to attend a running camp for cross country,
Later in the day, Dean became aware the police wanted to question his son ,Lee, about Thomas. After several conversations with his wife and Lee, Dean was told by his son where Thomas Bortvit’s body was. After being informed of this, Christensen said he jumped in his car to go to the police station. State Attorney Coleman McCallister asked Christensen why he did that.
“Why did I do that? I thought the Bortvit family needed to know where their son was”, said Christensen.
Denise Christensen gave her testimony about the events over the course of those days as well, specifically her conversation with Lee after landing at the airport in Arizona on June 7, 2015.
After much questioning from Denise, Lee admitted he had been with Thomas the day before. Denise Christensen then made Lee tell her what had happened. She said she was very upset.
“I asked him how he could take someone’s child away from them because how could someone take someone’s child away from them?” said Christensen.
Denise Christensen said after the phone conversations with her husband, Dean and Lee, she immediately got the first flight she could back to the Midwest. She said although Lee seemed a little distraught, he was very matter-of-fact when describing what had happened the day before on June 6, 2015.
Court proceedings will continue throughout the week. ABC 9 will bring you more updates as the trial progresses.