Diane Bakdash, mother of Timothy Bakdash, cleared on all charges

Categories: Crime
dianebakdash.jpg
Diane Bakdash is free and clear in the death of Ben Van Handel.
Diane Bakdash was a nurse practitioner with a squeaky clean reputation until the night her son Timothy allegedly mowed down several pedestrians in Dinkytown, killing one. According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, it was motherly fidelity that led Bakdash to assist her son in a hasty disposal of the car involved.

Today, however, it appears that the case has completely disintegrated. Bakdash was cleared of the final charge against her earlier today.

"Our position from day one, from the very outset of this case, was that she was 100 percent innocent," says her attorney, Ryan Garry.

According to the charges against Timothy Bakdash, the 29 year old was drinking at The Library Bar on April 15 when he got into an argument with some other patrons. Bakdash left the bar, jumped into his Mitsubishi Galant, and -- when he saw who he thought he'd been arguing with -- revved his engine and drove up on the sidewalk in their direction
, according to the complaint.

bakdash 2shot.jpg
Timothy Bakdash
He allegedly hit two women who'd been at the Kitty Kat Klub, and Ben Van Handel, a U of M student. Van Handel was carried 50 feet on the hood of the car, struck his head on a utility pole, then flew through the air into the intersection. He died several days later from injuries to his head.

It took a few days for cops to track the younger Bakdash down, but once they did he'd already gotten rid of the Galant. Police were able to find the buyer, who says he bought the car for $1,500 and heard Timothy on the phone with his mother. The witness told police he'd heard Diane Bakdash say that Timothy "had to get rid of that car that night." He also said Diane had told him she would sign the title. The 66 year old was charged with felony accomplice and arrested.

However, Diane Bakdash's attorney wrote in a motion to dismiss that the witness contradicted himself in subsequent interviews with a private investigator. The investigator reported the witness changed his story to say he merely heard "someone" on the phone with Timothy. Garry also wrote that the witness altered his story to say he bought the car without any knowledge that there had been an accident, and only found out about it later.

The felony charges were subsequently dropped and a single charge of obstructing justice stood for Diane Bakdash. That went out the window this morning after her attorneys successfully argued that merely refusing to speak to police the first time they appeared on her doorstep and requesting a lawyer does not constitute obstruction.

"The government's case was based on evidence that was just no good," says Garry. "You need a top notch investigator if you want to do any good for your client."

Timothy Bakdash is still being charged with felony second degree murder. His trial starts in November.

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10 comments
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East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

How can someone be fired for being 'charged' of a crime?  This in itself seems to me to be illegal.  I'd sue the shit out of my former employer

To bad he didn't ride a bike
To bad he didn't ride a bike

Are you saying her employer didn't have the right to fire her?  Of course they do.

It doesn't matter if you're cooking hamburgers, or providing medical care (nurse practicioner is a serious job, even though a lot of people when they hear the title think it means they are low class) if you're involved in a case like this that gets some level of notoriety, your employer has to think, "Will this be bad for our business?"

Of course it is.  And they gave her the axe.  Maybe she would be able to return to work now that she has been cleared of charges, but I doubt it.  She's probably going to experience, "Conviction by journalism" especially since it seems to the average person that she got off on a technicality.

"At will employment"  Look it up.  There are VERY few reasons why your employer cannot fire you.  If you're fired for protected reasons, then you have a grounds for a lawsuit. 

Everyone else, just files for unemployment compensation.  And she was probably not able to receive that while this was ongoing.  Now that she's been cleared, if she had filed, she'll get backpay for those weeks where she was under legal scrutiny.

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

I think you have your head up your ass!   It doesn't matter wether it's a high level job. 

There's a difference between being accused and convicted. 

I think you should be fired from life.  You are bad for our republic.

guest
guest

It's not the above poster, it's the law.  Often it's in employment papers that an employee signs that they can be fired if they are accused of a crime. 

Gloworm
Gloworm

Our Republic died one hundred years ago.

vitajex
vitajex

I'm not convinced that she's "100% innocent", but I think living the rest of her life with a son who is (or soon will be) a convicted murderer is punishment enough.

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

It doesn't matter if you are convinced.  The grandjury was convinced.

vitajex
vitajex

Nice attempt at contrarianism, unfortunately, you missed something-

Just because the charges were dropped does not mean that ANYBODY believes she is "100% innocent", just that they felt they didn't have the evidence to get a conviction.

Better luck next time.

Cam
Cam

I thought it was innocent until proven guilty...

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

I went to school with Timothy Bakdash's brother. It is really weird to see that this is how he turned out.

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