Timothy Bakdash's attorney plans to argue his client was too drunk to commit murder

Categories: Homicide Files
bakdash 200.jpg
Bakdash's attorney plans to argue his client was too drunk to form an intent to kill.
Timothy Bakdash's defense attorney plans to employ an unusual defense during his client's upcoming first-degree murder trial.

It goes something like this: Timothy was very drunk, therefore he couldn't have planned to kill anybody when he drove his car onto a Dinkytown sidewalk and into a crowd of pedestrians last April 15, hitting and killing 23-year-old Benjamin Van Handel.

Minnesota law requires prosecutors to demonstrate Bakdash intended to kill, but defense attorney Joseph Tamburino plans to argue that Bakdash was too intoxicated to have intent.

Tamburino gave the Pioneer Press a preview of the strategy he plans to use during the trial, for which jury selection begins today.

"He did not intend to kill anyone, he did not attempt to kill anyone," Tamburino said. "He was intoxicated, and he was driving, but he had absolutely no intent or premeditation to kill anyone."

Prosecutors declined to preview their strategy, telling the PiPress that "everything will come out in trial."
benvanhandel.jpg
Van Handel died as a result of injuries sustained during Bakdash's hit-and-run.

According to the charging documents, Bakdash, 29, was drinking at The Library Bar in Dinkytown last 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 a sidewalk in their direction while heading the wrong way down Fifth Street Southeast.

He allegedly hit two women who'd been at the Kitty Kat Klub, and 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.

Bakdash was initially charged with second-degree murder, but a Grand Jury upgraded the charge to first-degree murder last May. He has remained in jail since the incident, unable to pay his $1 million bail.

Previous coverage:
-- Diana Bakdash, mother of Timothy Bakdash, cleared on all charges
-- Timothy Bakdash indicted for first-degree murder
-- Timothy Bakdash says he ran over pedestrians on purpose
-- Ben Van Handel wasn't Timothy Bakdash's intended target on the night he died


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13 comments
OhNoes
OhNoes

GUILTY SECOND DEGREE!!!!!! 

Bill Crosby
Bill Crosby

That is genius...like it or not, it really is genius

Nope
Nope

Haha, good luck with that argument idiot attorney.  This dude is going to prison.

Research
Research

I really wonder what kind of lifestyle an attorney with this mentality has.  I understand innocent until proven guilty but the guy did this and to come up with too drunk is just a disgrace to human kind.  The problem is the attorney probably fools himself to believe it just to sleep at night.

Geargirly
Geargirly

The Attorney is just doing his job.  Lay off him.  However Tim Bakdash will have to live with this the rest of his life.  What he did was wrong and he will be punished. He made a huge mistake to say the least!  My heart goes out to his victim's family!

Research
Research

He'll get up to 3 yrs and off in a little over 2 for good time aka scared to confront any inmate about anything.  If someone who makes these laws loses someone due to this, I guess that's when it'll change.  Just google vehicular homicide minnesota.

Guest
Guest

As it should be...

guest
guest

I sure hope this is not the case. This was one of my best friends. He stated previously on recorded he intended to kill. He left the scene of the accident, murdered 1, injured 2, and was drunk. If they don't put this guy away for life I will have no trust in the justice system ever again. 

Research
Research

Something needs to be done.  I've lost a friend also due to a drunk driver and witnessed a mother get killed due to a drunk hit and run.  Also had I think coke on him. The guy was with a much younger woman and switched spots so when cops pulled them over he was passenger.  I don't want to say what they sentenced him to.

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

 It's really weird for me because I knew Tim Bakdash when I was a kid. His brother and I were friends, and Tim seemed like any other 10-year old kid growing up in the early 90's. Strange to see that this is where he ended up.

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