By Ashton Goodell
Channel 2 News
12:21 PM AKDT, June 10, 2011
Prosecutors played a 2006 police interview with defendant Kenneth Dion at his murder trial Friday. In the interview, conducted after a DNA link was made to Dion, he says he didn't know Bonnie Craig, whom prosecutors say was beaten, raped and murdered in 1994.
"I don't remember seeing her at all," Dion said in the interview.
Dion is accused of Craig’s murder in September 1994. DNA from semen found on Craig's body and clothing at the time was matched to Dion’s in the national DNA database 13 years after her death.
Defense attorney Andrew Lambert says Dion lied to police about knowing Craig in the 2006 interview, and doesn't dispute that the sperm belonged to his client. He says Dion and Craig had consensual sex days before Craig's death -- and that his client was never at the crime scene.
The interrogator on the tape, Tim Hunyor, eased into the interview by asking Dion about his life in Alaska. Dion was stationed at Fort Richardson during two years of service with the Army. After leaving the military in 1992, Dion worked odd jobs in construction and briefly as a dishwasher.
When the DNA link was made to Dion, police tried to reconstruct what his life looked like in the months before and after Craig's death on Sept. 28, 1994. Days before Craig's body was found floating in a pool of water McHugh Creek, Dion's wife Tammy Aaronson had given birth to a baby girl.
Aaronson, now Dion’s ex-wife, said her husband disappeared the day after their daughter's birth. Dion returned a week later, but never offered an explanation of where he had been.
Dion told investigators he was a fifth-degree black belt. He said in the 1990s he often carried martial-arts weapons in the trunk of his car. A murder weapon was never found.
The medical examiner on the case believes lacerations found on Craig's head were sustained in a beating, possibly with a tire iron or other blunt object. The defense suggests they were a result of the tumble she took down a cliff.
Police interviewed family and friends who knew Dion in 1994, but none knew of a connection between Dion and Craig.
The portion of the interview tape played for the jury cut short before investigators told Dion his sperm was found on the victim. The prosecution rested its case after playing the taped interview.
The defense began its case with a forensic expert, Carol Klamser, who says a laceration found in Craig's vagina was a common injury. Klamser says it's impossible to say whether the superficial injury occurred during consensual sex or rape, adding that it could have resulted from sex, fingering or masturbation.
Contact Ashton Goodell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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