Ex-inmate testifies that widow knew

Karen Bodden relayed details of her husband's murder before they were made public, according to testimony from a former inmate who became aquainted with the suspect when they were both incarcerated at Douglas County Jail.

Ramona Madore told the Douglas County grand jury last week that Bodden told her in September and October 2006 how her husband was killed and other details of his death.

The grand jury indicted Karen Bodden on Sept. 11 for Robin Bodden's August 2006 murder.

Investigators believe the 50-year-old aircraft mechanic was shot to death Aug. 15-16, 2006, and his body was dumped in the desert near Johnson Lane where it was found Sept. 10, 2006.

Karen Bodden, 44, has been in custody in Douglas County Jail since Sept. 11, 2006, on $1 million cash bail. She is to be arraigned on a charge of open murder with a deadly weapon on Oct. 2 in District Court.

"She told me that at his place of work he had been shot and then he was shot again and had been wrapped up in a blanket and that somebody had used a cherry picker to lift up his body and put it in the back of his vehicle, and that somebody drove that vehicle to a destination and deposited his body into a grave," Madore told the grand jury.

Investigator Ron Elges, the lead agent on the case, told the grand jury those details of the crime had not been released to the public until February and were known only to investigators.

Madore said she remembered the conversation because she didn't know what a "cherry picker" was and Karen Bodden explained it to her.

Madore said Bodden told her that "the Mexican Mafia had taken care of him."

"She said her husband would fly them back and forth to certain destinations and she thinks that her husband got more involved in the situation than he should have and that they decided to take care of him," Madore told the 16 grand jurors.

Madore said that Karen Bodden also talked about "the perfect murder" when they used to watch television crime shows in their cell block.

"She turned to us and told us there was a way that you can poison somebody and it would never be traced," Madore testified.

Bodden also told Madore that she couldn't return to the couple's Johnson Lane home because it had been ransacked by investigators searching for evidence.

"She said they were not going to find what they were looking for .... she was trying to tell me that the other people had killed him," Madore testified.

Elges testified that investigators turned up no sign of accomplices in the murder or evidence of wrongdoing by Robin Bodden.

He also testified that there were no eyewitnesses, fingerprints or traces of Rob Bodden's blood at the crime scene. But, he said, there was ample opportunity for the murderer to clean up the scene in the three weeks between the time the victim was reported missing and his body was found in the desert.

The murder weapon also has not been found.

Following the murder, authorities believe that Karen Bodden had 10 days before a family member reported her husband missing to set up her story that she didn't report his absence they were having marital problems.

What investigators discovered, according to court documents, was that Karen Bodden had allegedly embezzled thousands of dollars from her husband's business, General Aviation Services of Nevada, and from personal accounts.

Authorities believe Robin Bodden was shot to death at his airport hangar and the murderer used the mechanic's own tools and supplies to carry out the crime.

The body was wrapped in a blanket, bound in tape and tied with a nylon strap. The murderer wheeled a hydraulic lift into place, attached the engine lift to the strap and hoisted the body onto Bodden's pickup truck parked inside the hangar.

According court records, the murderer cleaned the area with paper towels and drove to the desert near Johnson Lane, dumped the body into a shallow grave and covered it with dirt.

The grand jury heard six hours of testimony Sept. 10-11 before returning an indictment against Bodden of open murder with use of a deadly weapon.

Neither Bodden nor her lawyer, James E. Wilson Jr., of Carson City, were present for the proceedings.

Jackson and Assistant District Attorney Michael McCormick presented the case to the jury.

In response to a juror's question, Jackson said Madore received no leniency or consideration in her sentence in exchange for her testimony.

Others who testified included a Washoe County medical examiner, Karen Bodden's daughter, Rob Bodden's brother, Minden-Tahoe Airport employees and Rob Bodden's accountant.

Grand jury proceedings are closed, but the district attorney may release a copy of the transcript if the case is not sealed.


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