Jury: Bakdash Guilty On 9 Counts In ‘U’ Hit-And-Run

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man accused of a deadly hit-and-run at the University of Minnesota has been found guilty on nine counts, according to the jury.

The jury found 29-year-old Timothy Bakdash guilty in all counts except first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder, after nearly eight hours of deliberation.

Bakdash was found guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and criminal vehicular homicide, among other charges.

Prosecutors said he ran over a group of U of M students on purpose last April. The defense argued he was too drunk and high to know what he was doing.

WCCO Radio Interviews Timothy Bakdash’s Attorney

The incident killed 23-year-old Ben Van Handel and injured Katelynn Hanson and Sarah Bagley. Bagley suffered severe leg injuries in the crash.

WCCO Interviews Van Handel Family On Verdict

Police say Bakdash was upset over an argument at a nearby bar. They say he drove down the wrong way of a one-way street — 5th Street Southeast — and hit the students.

Bakdash’s lawyers say the incident could not be defined as a “premeditated” act because Bakdash was too drunk and high at the time.

Bakdash says he drank 15 to 20 alcoholic drinks and smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel. That would put him at an estimated 0.3 blood alcohol concentration, more than three times the legal limit.

WCCO Interviews Leslie Falk, Friend Of Ben

The prosecution said a witness in the car with Bakdash heard him say, “they deserved it.”

The jury began its second day of deliberations Tuesday morning.

The full list of counts against Bakdash:

Count 01: Murder in 1st Degree (Not Guilty)
Count 02: Murder in 2nd Degree
Count 03: Felony Murder
Count 04: Criminal Vehicular Homicide
Count 05: Attempted Murder in 1st Degree (Not Guilty)
Count 06: Attempted Murder in 2nd Degree
Count 07: Assault in 2nd Degree
Count 08: Criminal Vehicular Operation
Count 09: Attempted Murder in 1st Degree (Not Guilty)
Count 10: Attempted Murder in 2nd Degree
Count 11: Assault in 2nd Degree
Count 12: Criminal Vehicular Operation

  • Thanks but no thanks

    Unbelievable, this is a win for the defense team, lets open the court doors for people that want to use “I was to drunk” defense. Sure he was found guilty of charges that will put him behind bars, but what does this say about Minnesota?

    • Stands with an apology

      Sorry for your anguish Tim, better days are ahead. Keep your chin up and move on, everybody makes mistakes.

    • Richard in Minneapolis

      Unlike most of you I have actually sat on the jury of a murder trial (bullet through the forehead point blank during a drug deal gone bad). Our first assumption during deliberation: EVERYBODY is lying. We downgraded from 1st to 2nd degree because we could not definitively conclude that there was pre-meditation. By downgrading to 2nd and convicting him of that we hoped to cut off any grounds for appeal.

      • TL

        “bullet through the forehead point blank…”

        What could one reasonably conclude was going to happen when the gun went to the forehead prior to pulling the trigger? Thats planning, thats intent and thats pre-med.

        BUT…you did what you had to according to how the law is written.

        • Todd Oesterreich

          ” Thats planning, thats intent and thats pre-med.”

          Wrong. And I’m FAR from a bleeding heart. You don’t undrstand the definition of premeditation.

          • TL

            You dont understand my point……..

            I understand what the statute says is pre-med…doesn’t make it right.

            A person brings a gun to what he should reasonably believe might turn out to be a bad situation….otherwise, why bring a gun, right?

            A person drives a vehicle, a deadly weapon, into a crowd of people…a person is doing much more than just “a little harm or injury.” Thats a plan to kill someone.

            • Sean Kelly

              TL – Premeditation has nothing to do with corollary actions (carrying a gun to a meeting, driving a car, etc.) ; instead it involves forming the intent to kill before the actual sequence of events have started. You’re comment “that doesn’t make it right” is absurd – under your stretching of the meaning, EVERYTHING would be premeditation and ANY death would be first degree murder.

      • Thanks for Nothing

        Thanks Richard, it’s jurists like you who over the years had made the courts a safer place for criminals. Don’t hurt yourself while patting yourself on the back…idiot…

    • Reality

      It was foolish of the prosecution to think that this was 1st degree murder. This was never premeditated. This was a heat of the moment crime. 2nd degree murder was the right charge. Look it up in the Minn. Stat.

      • Reality? Really?

        Wrong……you sound like an attorney trying to rationalize your ilk

  • Jodi

    It isn’t usually easy to convict on Murder in the 1st ,I don’t think his defense considers the out come a win,
    I think Bakdash got what HE deserved. I’m sure he’s going to do serious time. The state did a good job.

  • TL

    This is where the letter of the law overrides common sense.

    This is 1st degree in my opinion….one knows at least on some level of conscienceness that deciding to drive a vehicle into a crowd of people will more than likely kill someone….that is intent as well as planning.

    What other possible outcome is there?

    • Richard in Minneapolis

      Driving into a crowd with the possibility that you MIGHT kill someone is still a far cry than driving into a crowd with the specific intent to actually kill someone. Good call by the jury.

      • TL

        I think that is the presumed intent of someone when that person takes a 2,000 lbs missle and drives it into a crowd of people…to kill someone. One MIGHT survive but with significant injuries. Again, drunk or not, a person knows thats a distinct possibility moreso than someone “just getting hurt.”

        Ya, as the law is written, the jury did well…but thats not my point.

        Again, letter of the law over common sense.

        • Todd Oesterreich

          Intent = 2nd degree. Premeditation = 1st degree.

          • TL

            Get your head out of the statute book and think for yourself.

            Again, I know what the statute says….it doesnt make it right.

            You seem to think that it takes a long drawn out plan on paper for a murder to be pre-med…..according to the law as it is currently written, that may be true.

            But getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, drunk, intoxicated or not….you know that driving it into a crowd of people is more than likely going to kill one or more people rather than just “hurt” them….youre already formulating a plan as your driving the vehicle to the target and you know what the probable outcome is.

            PRE-MED AND INTENT – Although to “intend to do something” you need a plan of some sort, dont you?

            We are not allowed to claim ignorance of the law…why should we be allowed to be ignorant of the outcome utilizing a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime???

      • @RECHARD

        RIchard how did you ever get on a jury? You are a defense attorney’s dream. Thinking that “You Might Kill” is really any different than knowing what you are doing. If I could have you on my jury I would love to be a defense attorney…as someone ealier said….idiot

  • Huh

    Seems rather pre-meditated to me. He had to leave the bar, get into his car and hunt down the victims.

    Intoxication can never be a defense. He willfully entered that state and regardless of its impact on his judgment he is still responsible for his actions.

  • TL

    Now we’re going to see more “I couldnt possibly have known what I was doing or planning….I was too wasted” defense used in courts in these types of cases. So much for personal responsibility.

    It was the guns fault, or in this case, the cars fault that I got annihilated to the point where I “didnt know what I was doing” when I shot or drove into a crowd of people! How was I suppose to know that someone was going to die utilizing a deadly weapon during the course of my stupidity and moronic actions?!?!?!

  • Lonnie

    Well, maybe the judge will at least run the sentences consecutively !!!

  • Jay

    I hope the Van Handal family ,and the young women who were struck ,feel some clossure. Lets hope the justice system doesnt fail them when sentencing.

  • BS

    I’m not guilty, I’m just misunderstood & if I can have one bleeding heart liberal on the jury I will certainly be innocent.

  • bubbalicious

    Will his hormone therapy continue in the Big House?

  • PoliticiansSUX

    Isn’t this the peice of dung that his momma tried to help him cover up his crime? Didn’t he drive off and momma advised him to hide the car in a garage and then dispose of it? When will momma go to the big house?

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