Reporting Bill Hudson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Timothy Bakdash was out celebrating his 29th birthday last April 15 at the Library Bar in Dinkytown. He was with his friend, Matt Dammon. On the witness stand Friday, Bakdash told jurors the two of them had been smoking pot before they got to the bar.
Once inside the bar, Bakdash said he drank anywhere from 15 to 20 drinks along with three to five Apple Jack shots.
Testifying at this first-degree murder trial, Bakdash said, “I was extremely intoxicated, in and out of reality, spinning quite a bit.”
He recalls a man in a blue shirt who slapped his face and tried picking a fight with him in the parking lot. Moments later, Bakdash and Dammon got into a car and drove the wrong way out and onto the sidewalk.
“Matt said ‘hit him’ and I figured I would scare him,” Bakdash said.
Instead, a young woman suddenly crashed onto the car’s hood, smashing the windshield.
“I was scared and panicked,” Bakdash said. “I wanted to flee the scene.”
But when defense attorney Joseph Tamburino asked if he could recall hitting anyone else, namely Ben Van Handle, the defendant said he didn’t see anyone else.
Finally, when Tamburino asked him if he knew the damage he’d done, Bakdash responded, “I know it’s serious now. I’m willing to pay for this. I know I didn’t intentionally try to hurt or kill anyone.”
Assistant Hennepin County prosecutor Christina Warren cross examined Bakdash and finished by asking, “You killed Ben Van Handel, but you can’t admit it can you?”
Bakdash replied, “I did kill him. But I didn’t intend to.”
That’s for the jury to decide, Warren told him.
Closing arguments in the case will come Monday.