Thursday, May 23, 2013
State Makes Opening Statements In Dion Trial
15-Member Jury Seated In Rape, Murder Trial
ANCHORAGE--With the 15-member jury seated in the rape and murder trial of Kenneth Dion, the state made its opening statements Tuesday.
The former Fort Richardson soldier is accused of sexually assaulting and killing college student Bonnie Craig nearly 17 years ago.
The state began by saying the trial is as much about Craig as it is about Dion.
The prosecution described Bonnie as a well-liked young woman too busy for the secret life the defense claims she had.
The state drew a timeline: At about 5 a.m., Sept. 28, 1994, Craig hurried out of her South Anchorage home “to go up to a bus stop where she catches the bus on Monday and Wednesday to go to school,” said Paul Miovas, assistant attorney general. “She walked two and a half miles approximately to get to that bus stop.”
But the 18-year-old never made it on the bus nor to any of her classes at University of Alaska Anchorage.
Hours later, at 2:15 p.m., a woman walking near McHugh creek saw a body in the water, and called Troopers. The body was that of Craig.
“You're not going to see some big horrific crime scene at McHugh Creek,” Miovas said. “That is not what we have. We have a leaf with a blood stain on it. You're going to hear about disturbed vegetation going over the side of the cliff in that area. You're going to hear testimony about some skid marks going off the side of the cliff.”
Miovas also warned jurors—11 men and four women—that they will see graphic images.
“You're going to notice that the 11 linear lacerations to the back of the skull are in all manner of directions,” Miovas said. “Some are horizontal, diagonal, vertical.”
But the defense insists Craig fell after having had consensual sex with Dion, and alludes that Craig had led a secret life—a claim the prosecution attempted to immediately debunk by detailing her busy life.
The state says the young woman studied psychology at UAA, worked 30 hours every week at Sam’s Club, babysat her younger siblings and a coworker’s child and maintained frequent communication with a long-distance but serious boyfriend.
“You have to understand that it left very little time for Bonnie to do anything outside of her work and school commitments and her commitments to her family,” Miovas said.
The prosecutor also said Dion murdered Craig shortly after his second wife at the time had given birth.
“On September 3, 1994, she gave birth to Kenneth's child,” Miovas said. “She's going to tell you Kenneth hadn't been around for a while when she gives birth. He comes to the hospital, sees her at the hospital, and then he disappears for a couple, two, three weeks after she has the baby. It's during that course of time—two to three weeks after she has the baby on September 3—that Bonnie Craig is killed.”
The defense will make its opening statements Wednesday.