By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Thomasdinh “Dinh” Bowman was found guilty of first-degree murder by a King County jury on Thursday, December 11th. The jury determined that Bowman had set out to kill when he shot Yancy Noll in August 2012.
Hours after the guilty verdict, Bowman attempted suicide by slitting both wrists with a razor according to a report from KIRO 7. Inmates are allowed razors to shave. Due to the attempted suicide, Bowman will no longer be allowed razors.
The jury took less than two days to find Bowman guilty of killing a fellow motorist. He was without emotion as his fate was read. The 32 year old Bowman will face between 25 and 31 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 2nd 2015.
In the early evening of August 31, 2012, Yancy Noll was sitting in his car at a stop light at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street when Bowman’s silver BMW pulled up next to him and shot Noll several times through his own passenger window. Noll died at Harborview Hospital.
Noll, 43, was a wine steward at the QFC store on Capitol Hill. He was returning home from work at the time that he was shot by Bowman.
A tip led the police to Bowman’s home and business. Bowman had repaired a broken window, changed out all four tires on his BMW and it was freshly painted when examined by police to cover up the exchange between the two cars. He was arrested and taken into custody soon thereafter.
Bowman claimed that the shooting was done in self-defense as a result of road rage. Bowman stated that Noll had thrown a wine bottle at him which hit him in the head. He testified that Noll was reaching for something in his car when Bowman, who had a gun in his car, pulled out his gun to shoot him. However, the prosecutor argued that there was no evidence of a wine bottle and debunked the story that it could have hit Bowman in his car while he was driving. “That’s one magic wine bottle,” said King County Prosecutor Kristin Richardson during trial. One of the jurors indicated that he could have drove away from the incident but decided to fire his gun.
The prosecution commented on Bowman’s steely demeanor during the trial as a person without remorse in the random killing of Noll. It was only when the prosecution made these comments did Bowman express emotion in court as he cried. The emotions, or lack thereof, may have been a factor for the jury. The prosecutors characterized Bowman as “a student of murder” and someone that was on a “quest to know what it would be like to kill someone.”
Bowman’s attorney, John Henry Browne, argued to the jury that road rage is not a premeditated act. He also made the assertion that if Bowman was a student of murder, why would he pick such a time and place to kill someone.
The trial hinged on whether the prosecutors could prove that the shooting death was not done in self-defense and whether Bowman’s act was premeditated. If the jury could not find premeditation of murder, Bowman would have been set free without another lesser charge against him. Bowman made the decision that a lesser charge such as manslaughter would not be considered by the jury.
It was revealed that a search of Bowman’s home computer revealed information about how to be an assassin and commit murder.
Browne states that his client will appeal the verdict.
Bowman is married. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in electrical engineering.
Bowman was considered a child prodigy as the Seattle Times had an article on him from 1996 when he was just 13 years old and taking computer classes at Seattle Pacific University. Originally from Des Moines, Washington and of Vietnamese descent, Bowman was an accomplished fencer that competed nationally. He was home-schooled by his mother since the third grade. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.