Thursday, May 23, 2013
Juror On Bonnie Craig Rape, Murder Trial Speaks Out
Juror: Video of Troopers' interview with Dion "raised red flags."
ANCHORAGE—Juror number 15 said she was not yet 10 years old when 18-year-old Bonnie Craig was raped and murdered on Sept. 28, 1994.
“I knew nothing about it,” said Juror No. 15, who asked that her name be withheld.
But in May, she was selected as one of 15 jurors for one of Alaska’s most infamous cold case trials. On Tuesday, three jurors were randomly selected out, but she stayed on.
After deliberating for a day-and-a-half, she and 11 of her fellow jurors reached a unanimous verdict: Kenneth Dion, a 41-year-old former Fort Richardson paratrooper, was guilty of four counts of sexual assault and murder.
The decision was not an easy one, she said.
“One day, we'd go in and I’d say, ‘Oh yeah, he's guilty,” she said. “The next day the defense would present something and we'd go, ‘Oh yeah, well, maybe it was an accident. I think throughout the trial there were doubts and back and forth. I wouldn't be surprised if other jurors lost sleep as well.”
In the end, she said video clips of Troopers’ 2006 interview of Dion in New Hampshire helped her make the final decision.
“Looking at the interview of him being interrogated raised some red flags,” she said. “He didn’t pick up the picture (of Bonnie Craig), he didn’t look at it. He automatically said, ‘No, I don’t remember anything.’ You know, he had mentioned, ‘I remember faces.’ Apparently, the media coverage of this case in ‘94 was pretty publicized and you don’t remember her face? It's a little fishy.”
Juror No. 15 recounted what she saw that Wednesday afternoon minutes before the judge read the jury’s verdict: “the family, holding on to each other, somebody looking up, saying silent prayers, prosecution was just sitting there waiting, defense was sitting there, waiting, Ken was just sitting there, blank stare, looking forward.
“My hands were shaking,” she said. “I was so nervous. When they read the first count, Ken (Dion) shook his head, then the other three counts, and before they sat down, he looked at us, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
It’s an experience, though, she said she would do all over again.