MINDEN - Opening arguments are to begin this morning in the trial of a 45-year-old Johnson Lane woman accused of murdering her husband and dumping his body in the desert in August 2006.
A jury of 12 women and two men, including two alternates, was selected Monday to hear evidence in the case against Karen Bodden, who pleaded not guilty in October to an open charge of murder with a deadly weapon.
The trial before District Judge Dave Gamble is expected to last up to three weeks.
The jury was selected from a pool of 50-55 Douglas County qualified electors following several hours of questioning on pretrial publicity, knowledge of details of the case and whether potential jurors could set aside their own opinions about the allegations and decide the case based solely on evidence presented at trial.
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 Monday. "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 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.
Robin Bodden was an aircraft mechanic and owner of General Aviation Services at Minden-Tahoe Airport.
Karen Bodden was on probation after she pleaded guilty in 2004 to embezzling $44,000 from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
She is being represented by Carson City lawyers James Wilson Jr. and Erik Johnson.
Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson is prosecuting the case.
The case also drew the attention of NBC's "Dateline," which has set up cameras in the courtroom to film proceedings.