By Kortnie Horazdovsky and Ted Land
6:44 PM AKDT, June 15, 2011
Kenneth Dion was found guilty on all charges Wednesday. Dion was charged with the kidnap, rape and murder of Bonnie Craig, an 18-year-old UAA student who was found dead at McHugh Creek in September of 1994.
Troopers said Craig was raped, beaten and then died after she fell from a cliff there.
Dion sat motionless in the Anchorage courtroom and did not react as the verdict was read. Friends and family of Bonnie Craig packed the gallery, many of them wearing scarves and neckties patterned with her image.
Family members sobbed through it all, letting out a joyous gasp when they learned the jury found Dion responsible.
"You know it’s scarier than hell being this situation, that he could’ve gotten away with it, but it’s so nice that it’s first degree," said Karen Foster, Craig's mother.
"Sentencing is going to be a big part but right now this is huge. This is where we want to be right now," said Adam Campbell, Craig's brother.
The murder investigation went cold over the years, until 2006, when DNA from Craig’s body was matched to Dion, who was serving time in New Hampshire for a series of armed robberies.
When brought to Alaska in 2007, Dion asked a judge for more time to mount his defense, and the case finally went to trial in May, 16-and-a-half years after Craig’s death, on a charge of first-degree murder, two charges of second-degree murder, and a charge of first-degree sexual assault.
Throughout the trial, Dion’s defense team argued that, while he had initially lied to investigators about knowing Craig, the two had had consensual sex, and that her death was caused by an accidental fall.
The prosecution said there was no reason for Bonnie Craig to have skipped school, and no indication that she would have cheated on her longtime boyfriend, who at the time was attending school in California.
Craig left for school around 5 a.m. the morning she was last seen. Her body was found at the creek that afternoon.
Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV