Crown: former Lions receiver Josh Boden murdered ex-girlfriend for ending pro football career

Photo courtesy: Vancouver Police Department

Former B.C. Lions receiver Josh Boden’s murder trial started in court on Tuesday.

Boden is charged with second-degree murder after his ex-girlfriend Kimberly Hallgarth was found dead in her home in 2009. The 33-year-old Vancouver native has pled not guilty. Postmedia’s Keith Fraser reports the details from day one of the case proceedings.

Crown counsel Mark Crisp told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies that Boden and Hallgarth were well-known to each other and had dated one another and while they were no longer in a relationship, they had maintained contact up until the slaying.

Hallgarth complained to others about physical abuse she had suffered at the hands of Boden, including a complaint to then-Lions head coach Wally Buono, Crisp told the judge. She sent photos of her injuries and damage that had been done to her vehicle to Buono, who responded by cutting Boden from the CFL team, he said.

“Mr. Boden resented Ms. Hallgarth for this. He felt she owed him and he came after her for money on numerous occasions,” said Crisp. “The Crown says he killed her and points to this motive or animus that she cost him his football career.”

Boden, described by the Crown as a “large, strong man,” played as a wide receiver for the Leos for just a year before he was released from the team, later being picked up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a brief stint.

Crisp said the autopsy of the victim showed that she had suffered “catastrophic” injuries.

“Some of the injuries might be consistent with a slip down the stairs but the autopsy report also points to prominent hemorrhaging on her face and upper chest,” said the prosecutor. “There are fingertip bruises on her forearm. And her hyoid bone, the bone near the front of her neck, was fractured.

“The report points to substantial injuries at the front of the neck and the pathologist’s opinion was asphyxia due to strangulation. Mr. Boden had the means to commit this murder. He had been to Ms. Hallgarth’s home on many occasions. He knew where it was.”

The six-foot-one, 212-pound Boden played 14 games for the Lions in 2007, recording 14 receptions for 237 yards. Buono released Boden in April 2008 following domestic assault and robbery charges which were eventually dropped.