Murderer waives sentencing by jury

Karen Bodden waived sentencing Wednesday by the jury that convicted her of first-degree murder, opting instead for District Judge Dave Gamble to determine her punishment on March 4.

Bodden, 45, had a right to be sentenced by the 10 women and two men who convicted her in less than three hours on Tuesday.

After meeting with her defense team, lawyers James Wilson Jr. and Erik Johnson of Carson City, Bodden requested Gamble sentence her.

She faces up to life in prison without parole and an enhancement for using a deadly weapon to shoot her husband, aircraft mechanic Robin Bodden, twice in the head with a .22-caliber weapon.

"I don't know the statistics on this, but let's assume a jury would be less harsh than a judge, is it still your wish to proceed?" Gamble asked Bodden.

She nodded her head and said "yes."

Bodden answered affirmatively when Gamble asked her if her attorneys had explained the options and possible consequences.

Since Bodden was convicted of first-degree murder, she could be sentenced by the judge or jury.

After a brief hearing Wednesday, Gamble dismissed the jurors who were impaneled Jan. 7 for the two-week trial.

"I hope you enjoyed at least part of this," he said. "At some point, you will get a very insignificant check from the county for your service. But without you, the system would fall apart."

Gamble directed District Attorney Mark Jackson to inform the state parole and probation department to prepare a pre-sentence report on Bodden.

She is on probation from a 2004 conviction for embezzling $44,000 from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Officials believed that she killed her husband because she had been embezzling money from his business and personal accounts, and she was afraid he would turn her in.

Wilson said after Wednesday's hearing he wasn't at liberty to discuss why Bodden asked the judge to sentence her instead of the jury.

"It was a defense decision," he said.

Wilson said his client was disappointed by the verdict.

"It's been a difficult case," he said.

Wilson said he would talk with Bodden's mother and children prior to sentencing.

She's been held at Douglas County Jail on $1 million cash bail since her arrest Sept. 11, 2006, the day after her husband's body was found in the desert off Johnson Lane.


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