Sentencing March 4 for murderer

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.

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."

'Defense decision'

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 five years probation from a 2004 conviction for embezzling $44,000 from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Officials believed that she killed her 50-year-old husband because she had been embezzling money from his business and personal accounts, and she was afraid he would turn her in.

She pleaded not guilty to a charge of open murder with a deadly weapon in October following her indictment by the Douglas County grand jury.

Authorities believe Robin Bodden was killed Aug. 15-16, 2006, in his hangar at Minden-Tahoe Airport. He was the owner of General Aviation Services of Nevada.

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.

Following the verdict Tuesday, District Attorney Mark Jackson said he would ask for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"I'm very pleased about the verdict," Jackson said. "I believe it was a true verdict and a right verdict. I'm especially happy for Rob Bodden's brothers and sisters - Barb, Julie, Tim, and Gary."

Wilson said he was disappointed for his client and surprised at the speed with which jurors returned a verdict.

"Considering the amount of evidence, I thought it would take longer," Wilson said.

Jurors heard three hours of closing arguments before beginning deliberations Tuesday.

Although circumstantial, the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Bodden as her husband's murderer, Jackson said.

He said he wasn't surprised by the jury's quick verdict.

"Nothing a jury does ever surprises me," he said. "This shows me the jurors paid attention through the two weeks of trial."

Victim's siblings relieved

Sisters Julie and Barbara Bodden began crying when the verdict was read, and left the courtroom.

"I'm just so glad they believed Mark Jackson," Barbara Bodden said. "He's like God to me. I can quit thinking so much about her now. I want to be able to think about Rob without thinking about her."

Family members embraced Douglas County Sheriff's Investigator Ron Elges who lead the investigation.

"Our whole family wants to thank the district attorney's office," Julie Bodden said. "Not only did they take care of Rob, they took care of us."

"I kind of feel bad for Rob because he loved her so much. I feel like I'm losing him all over again today. He will always be in my heart. He will always be my big brother," she said.

Tim Bodden thanked the jury for "seeing through her (Karen Bodden's) smoke and mirrors."

Bodden's siblings said their brother can never be replaced, but they feel he is at peace.

"I feel Rob's home now," Tim Bodden said

His former brother-in-law, Russell Friesen, talked about loss.

"If Rob was still here, it would just be so much of a better world," he said. "It won't be the same without him."


Karen Bodden is to be sentenced March 4 by District Judge Dave Gamble. She faces up to life in prison without parole, with an enhancement for using a deadly weapon. She remains in Douglas County Jail where she has been held since her arrest Sept. 11, 2006.


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