Mechanic's wife indicted in murder

A Johnson Lane woman, accused of killing her husband a year ago and dumping his body in the desert, was indicted Tuesday for open murder with use of a deadly weapon by a Douglas County grand jury.

District Attorney Mark Jackson said Karen Bodden, 44, was to be arraigned on the charge Oct. 2 before District Judge Dave Gamble.

The indictment came one year to the day since Bodden was arrested in connection with the disappearance of her husband, aircraft mechanic Robin Bodden, 50.

She is in custody in Douglas County Jail on $1 million cash bail.

Bodden was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Sept. 21 in East Fork Justice Court to determine if there was enough evidence that the crime was committed and she was responsible.

Jackson said that hearing was vacated by the grand jury indictment.

Bodden's attorney, James E. Wilson Jr., of Carson City, was not allowed in the closed grand jury proceedings.

"Pursuant to grand jury proceedings, an attorney for the target of the investigation is not allowed to be part of a grand jury process. A notice is required by statute which was provided to both Ms. Bodden and her attorney," Jackson said.

Because the proceedings are secret, Jackson could not say whether Karen Bodden testified, the only condition under which she would be allowed to attend the session.

"Nobody is allowed in the grand jury unless as a witness called to testify," Jackson said. "The target is not allowed to observe, but may elect to testify or provide information."

Subjects who do testify are advised that the testimony given may be used against them.

Jackson said one of the duties of the grand jury - convened in July - includes inquiring into public offenses which are triable in the Ninth Judicial District Court.

If convicted, Bodden faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"Ultimately, it will be left to a trial jury to determine which degree of murder it would be," Jackson said. "The jury would be instructed on first degree, second degree, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter."

Wilson said Thursday he hoped the case would go to trial by the end of the year.

"The grand jury hears one side of the story," Wilson said. "A regular jury will hear both sides."

He said his client "was holding up as well as a person can hold up being in jail for a year."

Authorities believe Robin Bodden was shot to death Aug. 16, 2006, at his airplane hangar at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

His body was found in the desert near Johnson Lane on Sept. 10, 2006, 10 days after a family member reported him missing.

Karen Bodden told investigators she didn't report her husband missing because they were having marital problems and she claimed he had disappeared before. She said he left in a twin-engine plane with a man named "Ramos."

Robin Bodden's siblings said they were convinced his wife murdered him.

Authorities believe Karen Bodden was motivated by financial gain.

Originally she was charged with embezzling $30,000 from her late husband's business, General Aviation Services of Nevada, and his personal accounts.

The embezzlement charges were dismissed after she was accused of his murder.

Karen Bodden was convicted in 2004 of embezzling $44,000 when she was employed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. She was sentenced to probation.


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