By Minal Singh
Northwest Asian Weekly
The trial prosecuting the murder of Yancy Noll began last Wednesday, two years after the night of Noll’s death, Aug. 31, 2012 and the defendant’s arrest on Sept, 21, 2012. The defendant is Thomasdinh “Dinh” Bowman, 31, who was driving a silver BMW, and was reported to have fired five shots to the head at motorist Noll into the window of his red Subaru at the intersection of 15th Ave. Northeast and Northeast 75th St.
The prosecution’s case, from police reports and eye-witness accounts, shows a man whose motive was to experience the act of murdering someone. For weeks after Noll’s killing, Seattle citizens and investigators were interpreting the shooting as motivated by road rage. On a tip matching Bowman’s face with the artist sketch of the suspect, police targeted Bowman in the investigation procuring search warrants for his home.
On Bowman’s computer they found, according to the trial brief, “hundreds of articles, books, learned treatises, videos, and manuals dealing with how to be an assassin, how to commit murder.” Police also found the BMW’s window had been repaired and had new tires. Bowman, accompanied by his wife, drove to Portland the day after Noll’s murder, where he paid cash, under a different name, to repair his window. The trial brief discusses concealment of the older tires, dismantlement of his firearm, and turning off of his cell phone.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Scott O’Toole, said in a post-arraignment interview, “We haven’t yet established a motive. We don’t know we ever will. The law doesn’t require proof of a motive. To the extent we can find it, we will find it.” In court, prosecutors recount a series of events that build their case against Bowman and characterize him as having premeditated a random act of killing.
“They were looking for someone with a motive. They had no idea they were looking for a student of murder, for someone for whom the murder was the motive,” stated Adrienne McCoy, Senior Deputy Prosecutor in her opening statement. Defense attorney, John Henry Browne declined to make opening remarks and plans to plead for the defendant after the prosecution has made their case. According to KIRO Radio, Browne describes the defendant’s case as an incidence of road rage done in self defense.
The trial will be ongoing, estimated to last for several more weeks. The Yancy Noll Memorial Page, established on facebook as a tribute to Noll, is posting updates about the trial schedule. (end)