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.

Comments (8)
  1. big banjo says:

    one thing is for certain….having smoked some pot earlier has NOTHING to do with what he did.

    1. Zing says:

      Yeah, if he just would have stuck with the weed the worst thing that might have happened is he would have stole the other dudes Dorit0s. I’d rather face a stoned person than a drunk one any day. Good thing pot is illegal. Makes sense.

  2. Andy says:

    Booze you lose with dope there’s hope.

  3. Sandy says:

    This man needs to face the full consequences for his choices to drink, smoke dope and drive, and be convicted of 1st degree murder charges. Poor Ben VanHandle was the victim of Bakdash’s reckless disregard for the law.

    It is particularly disturbing that the testimony I’ve read from various sources doesn’t seem to indicate that Bakdash is even that remorseful for this heinous act of taking Ben’s life.

  4. Perry Mason says:

    They can’t let him off.

    Otherwise, anyone who wanted to kill someone could get drunk and then say it didn’t count because they were drunk.

    The defense lawyer is the only one benefiting from this.

  5. Willow says:

    He was drinking and driving, and he killed someone while drunk. He should face the consequences. Of course if you’re drunk, you probably don’t intend to actually hurt anyone. He should not get off the hook because of that. Everyone knows that drinking and driving is stupid, and he did it anyway.

  6. w says:

    How was going home with 15 drinks, shots, smoking pot. HE Would have killed someone else. Shame Tim!!!!!

  7. Guilty says:

    Fry this S O B (and his Mother too) !

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