Jury: Carson Valley woman who killed husband, dumped body in desert guilty of first degree murder | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Jury: Carson Valley woman who killed husband, dumped body in desert guilty of first degree murder

Karen Bodden was found guilty of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon Tuesday afternoon.

Jurors heard three hours of closing arguments before beginning deliberations in the trial of a 45-year-old Johnson Lane woman accused of murdering her husband and dumping his body in the desert.

They deliberated for less than four hours before returning with the guilty verdict.



Although circumstantial, the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Karen Bodden as the murderer of Robin Bodden, 50, a mechanic at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, District Attorney Mark Jackson said.

“The state does not have to have an eyewitness to prove the defendant murdered her husband,” he said.



“Her life was driven by her own greed. Greed, not love, filled her heart,” he said.

“Despite the defendant’s best efforts, she made several critical mistakes.”

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 said.

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.

Her attorney, James Wilson Jr., told the jury of 10 women and two men 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.

She has been in Douglas County Jail on $1 million cash bail since her arrest Sept. 11, 2006, the day after her husband’s decomposing body was discovered in the desert off Johnson Lane.

His sister Barbara Bodden reported him missing Aug. 27, 2006. According to Karen

Bodden, she didn’t report her husband missing because they were having marital problems and she was going to leave him.

Authorities believe Bodden killed her husband Aug. 15-16, 2006, 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 alleged Bodden was afraid her husband would turn her in to authorities and she would go to prison for a 2004 embezzlement for which she received probation.

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

Wilson told the jury Tuesday that the prosecution dismissed a lack of fingerprints,

DNA and blood as unimportant.

“That’s very important,” Wilson said. “There’s not a fingerprint that is a unique identifier that proves Karen Bodden had anything to do with the murder of her husband.”

He said “reasonable inference” can’t be made on speculation or guess.

“We don’t convict people in this country based on speculation or guess,” he said.

Jackson said Bodden shouldn’t get “bonus points” for wearing gloves and cleaning up the crime scene.

“I ask you to serve justice today, to deliberate, and find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder. And mark the ‘yes’ box for use of a deadly weapon,” Jackson said.

Wilson repeated his opening statement to the jury, saying the evidence was insufficient, scattered and speculative.

“Karen Bodden did not shoot her husband; she did not kill her husband, and she doesn’t know who did. Return a ‘not guilty’ verdict,” Wilson said.

Bodden was charged with open murder with use of a deadly weapon.


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