The March murder of former Food Network Star contestant Christie Schoen Codd shocked and enraged fans the world over. Now, if the prosecutor in the case has his way, justice will be served in the form of the death penalty.
Last week, the Buncombe County NC District Attorney filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Robert Jason Owens’ three murders: Cristie, 38; her husband J.T., 45; and the recently-married couple’s unborn child, who was to have been born this past July.
All told, Owens is charged with five crimes: two counts of felony first-degree murder; one count of felony murder of an unborn child; breaking and entering; and larceny. The circumstances of the Codds’ murders were especially gruesome: Owens allegedly struck J.T. with a pickup truck, and, after murdering the couple, attempted to dispose of them in a wood-burning stove.
Following that, Owens broke into the couple’s Leicester NC home and stole a Glock handgun, along with laptop, and jewelry.
Owens, a local handyman who the Codds had befriended after moving into their North Carolina home, struck friends of the couple strangely. “There was a gut feeling when I looked at this guy,” said Michael Mendez, who met Owens at the Codds’ wedding. “And I avoided him. This was one person I definitely did not want to meet….The moment I saw him, I just got the chills.”
Cristie Schoen Codd was a finalist on the eighth season of Food Network Star. She and J.T. married near Asheville last October, shortly after purchasing a modest home on 36 acres of tree-studded, mountainous land.
North Carolina last executed an inmate in 2006.
(Photo credits: Cristie Schoen Codd via Food Network, Facebook)