Fate Determined For Convicted Murderer Karen Bodden

By: Kimberly Chandler Email
By: Kimberly Chandler Email

It took less than three hours for a Douglas County jury to convict a Minden woman of killing her husband and dumping his body in the desert.

The jury of 10 women and two men were to return to District Judge Dave Gamble's courtroom Wednesday to decide the penalty for Karen Bodden.

Bodden, 45, showed little emotion as the verdict was read Tuesday.

District Attorney Mark Jackson said he would ask for life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bodden's sentence will be automatically doubled because a deadly weapon was used.

"I'm very pleased about the verdict," Jackson said.

Defense attorney James Wilson Jr. said he was disappointed for his client and surprised at the speed with which jurors returned a verdict.

"Considering the amount of evidence, I thought it would take longer," Wilson said.

During closing arguments, Jackson said although circumstantial, the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Bodden as the murderer of Robin Bodden, 50, a mechanic at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

The victim was shot twice in the head with a .22-caliber weapon that was never recovered.

Karen Bodden pleaded not guilty to a charge of open murder with a deadly weapon in October following her indictment by the Douglas County grand jury.

Authorities believe he was killed Aug. 15-16, 2006, in his hangar at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Jackson said Bodden was unable to keep her stories straight about her husband's whereabouts and her involvement in his financial affairs.

"The only thing consistent about the defendant's repeated stories is that they are inconsistent," Jackson told jurors before deliberations began.

Her attorney told the jury that Jackson failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bodden committed the crime.

"You've heard a lot about theories, about what might have happened, what could have happened. You heard very little about fact," Wilson said.

Barbara Bodden was the first to report her brother missing, contacting the Douglas County sheriff's office on Aug. 27, 2006.

According to Karen Bodden, she didn't report her husband's absence because the couple was having marital problems and she was going to leave him.

Authorities believe Bodden killed her husband because she had been embezzling money from his business and personal accounts 10 months before he died, and continued to take money after his death.

The prosecution claimed Bodden was afraid her husband would turn her in to authorities, and she would go to prison for violating probation on a previous embezzlement conviction.

She was convicted of embezzling $44,000 from the Department of Motor Vehicles in 2004 and given five years probation.


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