Sunday, May 19, 2013
Jury Watches Video Clips of Troopers' Interview With Kenneth Dion
State rests case; Defense calls SART nurse to stand
ANCHORAGE—The prosecution rested its case in the Bonnie Craig murder trial Friday with video clips from Troopers’ 2006 interview with the young woman’s accused killer, Kenneth Dion.
In 1994, Dion was newly married to his second wife, with a baby on the way.
Tammy Aaronson, who has since remarried, testified Wednesday in the Bonnie Craig murder trial that their daughter was born Sept. 3, 1994. Aaronson said, a month before the baby was born, she was living with Dion, but said “he wasn’t home often.”
That marriage ended after about three years and Dion, a former Fort Richardson paratrooper, headed to New Hampshire, where he ended up behind bars for armed robbery.
In 2006, Troopers cold case Investigator Timothy Hunyor got word from New Hampshire authorities they had a DNA match for the sperm in Craig’s case.
“They say it's Kenneth Dion's and he lives here in New Hampshire,” said assistant attorney general Paul Miovas.
Hunyor and another investigator made their way to the east coast to interview Dion and asked him about the six years he’d lived in Alaska.
Prosecutors played for the 15-member jury video clips of the 2006 interview.
Dion, with a thick New England accent, told investigators he and his then wife, Tammy, “went out a lot, dancing, had a lot of good times.” They often went to Chilkoot Charlie’s, he said.
“I grew up fighting all my life,” Dion said. “I was one of the top fighters when I was 17 years old—youngest rated in the top 10 in the world in men's full contact.”
Dion said he was a fifth-degree karate black belt and planned to open a school when he returned to Alaska.
“There was one time that I had a lot of my weapons in the car when I first moved back up there with my brother,” Dion said.
“What kind of weapon did you have on you,” one investigator asked.
“It was just a sai, martial arts weapons, that's all,” Dion said. “Sai—it’s a prong-like, a fork, almost. I had nunchucks, three-sectional staff.”
Earlier in the trial, the medical examiner who had conducted the autopsy on Craig’s body said the 11 lacerations on her head could have come from martial arts weapons, like a sai or nunchucks.
“Your name has come up in an investigation we're working on,” Hunyor said in the 2006 interview that prosecutors played for the 15-member jury. “The case happened in September of 1994. It was a pretty high-profile case. Did you read the news or listen to the news, read the newspaper back then?”
“Oh, yeah, all the time,” Dion said.
“You probably heard about the situation about a young girl named Bonnie Craig?” Hunyor asked Dion.
“Bonnie Craig?” Dion responded.
“Eighteen-year-old college student,” Hunyor said.
“I can't recall, I can't remember,” Dion said.
“Did you ever meet someone called Bonnie or anything like that?”
“I have no idea,” said Dion, who had told them earlier in the interview, “I got a bad memory. I forget things. Faces, I'll remember.”
“Let me show you a picture, might bring some memories back,” Hunyor said, handing Dion a photo of Craig that had run in the Anchorage Daily News.
“I don't remember seeing her at all,” Dion said, after staring at the picture.
“Do you recall meeting her through someone else, maybe one of your friends or anything?” Hunyor asked
“Her?” Dion said. “Eighteen years old? Hell no. My wife would have killed me.”
All three men laughed.
“The sad thing about it, later on that day, her body was found at McHugh Creek,” Hunyor said.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you trying to say?” Dion said.
“Look, I'm just down here investigating and your name has come up among hundreds of names,” Hunyor said.
“Why would my name come up?” Dion asked.
“That's what I'm trying to figure out,” Hunyor said.
The defense also presented its case and called to the stand a sexual assault response advanced nurse practitioner, Carol Klamser, who testified that the injuries found on Craig’s body were not necessarily from rape.
Upon cross-examination by Miovas, however, she also said it’s difficult to ascertain whether sexual assault has occurred simply by looking at vaginal injuries.
The trial continues Monday.