Jury Now Deliberating Fatal ‘U’ Hit-And-Run

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s now up to a jury to decide the fate of the man accused of a deadly hit-and-run at the University of Minnesota.

Timothy Bakdash says he was too drunk, so he couldn’t have intentionally killed a man and injured two women in Dinkytown last April. The jury began deliberating at 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Bakdash is accused of driving his car onto a crowded sidewalk, killing Ben Van Handel.

Prosecutors say Bakdash was trying to mow down two men he argued with in a bar, but killed Van Handel and injured the two women instead.

The jury is deliberating after having the case for about two and a half hours.

The defense says Bakdash had between 15 to 20 drinks that night and didn’t know what he was doing.

A lot is at stake — premeditated first-degree murder means life in prison and criminal vehicular homicide means 10 years behind bars.

In their closing arguments, both sides agreed that Bakdash was drinking the night he drove up on the Dinkytown sidewalk killing Van Handel, seriously injuring two young women and sideswiping another young man who suffered minor injuries.

Prosecutors say it was a premeditated attack, but the defense says Bakdash had been smoking pot in addition to several drinks that night.

Prosecutors fired back arguing that a witness and the bartender said Bakdash “was not that drunk.” Prosecutors said that two witnesses also testified that Bakdash told them the victims “deserved it.”

Another witness testified Bakdash told him “he intended to kill the victims.” The defense says Bakdash never said those things and that he told a fellow inmate he was just trying to scare the victims.

The defense also hammered on what they call a poor police investigation. Even prosecutors agree the investigation was flawed but that doesn’t change what they say is proof that Bakdash was using his car as a weapon to kill.

At 7 p.m., the jury retired for the evening and will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Kevin

    So am I.

  • Webster's Dictionary

    @ JDJSD

    Says the guy who can’t spell

  • Me wonders


  • Chigger Swatter


  • Jay

    Drugs are no excuse! He killed a person, and the wrong person at that. He desserves whatever punsihment he gets!

  • 70 year old lady

    Intentionally running over someone with your car and killing them is no different then using a gun in a drive by shooting. We must quit being easy on people that drink and drive.

  • Deep Thinker

    I still get a laugh at the defense, he was too drunk to have intentionally killed someone…..It’s so bad it will probably work…..but I don’t know because I’m too drunk to write an intelligent post.

  • northernman

    When people get tried for anything, especially for killing people they actually killed, I don’t know why they even want to present a defense. Even if you just get a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge because you had to much to drink, your life is ruined, because of background checks, everything is a matter of public record, so you can never have any kind of life worth living from that point forward. I have come to the conclusion that even if you have a misdemeanor in this country, you would be better off if they just put you to death, because there is nothing left to live for. Life is not worth living after you have been arrested for anything in the United States of America. You would be better off if the police just shot you in the head, no matter what they came to arrest you for, you would be free of this life and the police get the pleasure of shooting everyone that stepped out of line. Living a life of poverty and have no hope of a happy decent life after being arrested for anything even a misdemeanor is much worse punishment than just being put to death at the scene. Also millions of lives are ruined permanently for DUIs when they didn’t even kill anyone, but they would be better off dead than trying to be a productive citizen who blew a .08 into a breathalyzer. Death is better than even one misdemeanor in the United States of America. So if you actually kill someone, why not just ask to be put to death as soon as possible? Life wouldn’t be worth living after that anyway. Besides the impoverished life on the outside with even a misdemeanor on your record, why would anyone want to live in an American prison for any length of time at all? Who needs degrees of crimes, once you commit any crime, you are better off if the police or the courts just kill you instead of being labeled with anything even a misdemeanor, because once you are labeled, life as you know it is over, your better off dead.

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