Jury selection begins in murder case

Jury selection began today in the trial of Karen Bodden, 45, accused of killing her husband in August 2006 and dumping his body in the desert.

She has been in Douglas County Jail on $1 million cash bail since her arrest Sept. 11, 2006.

District Judge Dave Gamble spent the morning questioning a pool of 55-60 potential jurors from which a panel of 12 and two alternates are to be seated.

One woman was excused when she told the judge in chambers she had "an unchangeable" opinion about the case and didn't feel she could be fair. A man was excused when he told the judge the trial " expected to last up to three weeks " would impact his business.

Gamble questioned the potential jurors extensively about pre-trial publicity. Most of the pool said they had read about the case in The Record-Courier or watched television reports, but had not formed opinions about Bodden's innocence or guilt.

"As Ms. Bodden sits here today, she is innocent of all charges," Gamble said. "That's what the Constitution says, that's what I say until there is guilt proved in this courtroom beyond a reasonable doubt."

He also asked potential jurors if they would be able to look at autopsy pictures he described as "grisly."

"There are going to be photographs of the deceased. It is impossible to present this case to you without some photos being quite grisly. Despite being offensive in their content, you will be required to look at them," Gamble said.

He told the pool that one of their tasks may be to decide the penalty phase if there is a conviction. Gamble said the death penalty was not being sought.

Authorities allege Karen Bodden shot 50-year-old Robin Bodden to death in August 2006 because he discovered she was embezzling money from his personal and business accounts and threatened to turn her over to officials.

Karen Bodden was on probation after she pleaded guilty in 2004 to embezzling $44,000 from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Robin Bodden was an aircraft mechanic and owner of General Aviation Services at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Karen Bodden pleaded not guilty to the charge. She is being represented by Carson City lawyers James Wilson Jr. and Erik Johnson.

Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson is prosecuting the case.


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