Supreme court upholds Bodden murder conviction | NevadaAppeal.com

Supreme court upholds Bodden murder conviction

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service

The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of 47-year-old Karen Bodden, serving a life sentence for the August 2006 murder of her husband.

In a 3-0 opinion issued Monday, Supreme Court justices denied Bodden’s claims that District Judge Dave Gamble erred in denying her motion to suppress evidence, abused the court’s discretion in admitting DNA evidence, allowed a verdict supported by insufficient evidence and denied her a fair trial.

District Attorney Mark Jackson, who prosecuted Bodden, said Tuesday he was pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Not only did I spend a lot of time in preparing, prosecuting and obtaining the conviction, I spent a lot of time handling the appeal,” Jackson said Tuesday.

“The Supreme Court, in finding the verdict was supported by sufficient evidence, alluded to a lot of things (sheriff’s) Investigator Ron Elges did in investigating the case and what he discovered. There is no doubt his testimony and investigation were integral parts of the conviction.”

Jackson said he was going to inform Rob Bodden’s family of the decision.

“They’re going to be ecstatic,” he said.

Karen Bodden was convicted Jan, 22, 2008, by a Douglas County jury of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband, aircraft mechanic Rob Bodden.

She was sentenced March 4, 2008, to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years and a minimum of four years of a 10-year enhancement for use of a deadly weapon, to be served consecutively.

Bodden is incarcerated at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in North Las Vegas.

Her attorneys, James E. Wilson and Erik Johnson, both of Carson City, filed an appeal on March 28, 2008, to overturn the verdict.

She did not testify during the two-week trial in January 2008. According to investigators’ reports, she claimed her husband, an aircraft mechanic, had gone off to work for a drug cartel. She said she didn’t report him missing because they were having marital problems.

Authorities believed she shot her husband at his Minden-Tahoe Airport hangar, drove his body to the desert, and dumped him in a shallow grave.

Records indicate he died Aug. 15-16, 2006, and his decomposed body was found three weeks later on Sept. 10.

Karen Bodden was accused of embezzling money from his business, General Aviation Services. She was on five years probation from a 2004 conviction for embezzling $44,000 from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Investigators believe she murdered him because she was afraid he would turn her in for the new embezzlement.

In their affirmation of the conviction, the supreme court cited 18 examples of what it concluded was sufficient evident to support her conviction for “willful, deliberate, premeditated murder with the use of a deadly weapon.”

They include the fact she never reported her husband missing, her conflicting stories about why Rob Bodden disappeared, her previous conviction for embezzlement and evidence establishing she had been stealing money from her husband’s business, her access to his airport hangar, and evidence she continued to forge checks against his bank account after he disappeared.The decision was signed by justices Michael Cherry, James Hardesty and Nancy Saitta.