SEATTLE - Prosecutors said Dinh Bowman was on a “quest to kill” when he murdered Yancy Noll and was just as determined to cover it up. He is expected to take the stand in his own defense Thursday morning. Defense attorney John Henry Browne did not make an opening statement when the trial began, during cross-examination of witnesses he’s that the motive was self-defense. Browne will argue the shooting resulted from a road rage encounter between the two men. No witnesses reported any contact between the men or the vehicles. A dent in Noll’s car was old. according to his best friend’s testimony.
On Wednesday the prosecution showed a video police found on Dinh Bowman’s computer hard drive. The “how-to” video described how to shoot through the passenger side window of a car. Prosecutors say it shows premeditation. Jurors were shown a video of Bowman showing off his driving skills on a closed course, and practicing at a shooting range. Jurors got a chance on Wednesday to inspect both vehicles involved in the shooting. Detectives towed the vehicles to the loading dock at the King County Court House.
On Tuesday prosecutors detailed evidence recovered from Bowman’s computer at his business, Vague Industries. They said he looked up information about gunshot residue the same night Yancy Noll was murdered. A detective also testified Bowman looked up information about the shooting on the Seattle Police Department’s website on September 2, two days after the murder. When approached by detectives weeks later, he told them he didn’t know about a shooting, according to investigators.
Prosecutors showed sunglasses they found in Bowman’s wife’s car. On Tuesday prosecutors showed a profile picture of Bowman wearing the sunglasses in the car; the picture closely resembles the image in the sketch created by police with the help of witnesses.
On Monday a friend of Bowman testified he’d asked to trade cars in the days after the shooting. That friend, Gabe Rowe, had a Z4 with a hard top.
“He mentioned if you ever want to swap for a bit, basically I would drive his car and he would drive my car,” Rowe told the jury.
Last week a manager from Big O Tires in Lynnwood took the stand and described his interactions with Bowman after the shooting.
“He didn’t want any information on the invoice,” Doug Hackett testified.
He said Bowman brought the wheels from his BMW and wanted new tires mounted.
“I didn’t understand why they were coming off, they were like brand new,” said Hackett.
When one of his technicians accidentally scratched one of the expensive wheels, Hackett expected an upset customer. Instead Hackett said Bowman’s response was, “Don’t worry about it. They’re spray-painted.”
Hackett said he went to the shop and looked -- the silver wheels had been spray-painted black.
Last week employees from Safelite Auto Glass in Portland took the stand. Deina Carbonara told the jury she saw Bowman and his wife together as they worked on the damaged car.
“She seemed distraught, he seemed to be comforting her,” said Carbonara.
Another employee testified about what Bowman told him. “He said he was downtown [Portland] and had his car broken into,” said Jeff Shields.
Yancy Noll was driving his red Subaru near 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street when Dinh Bowman, a trained marksman who had researched how to kill and cover up his crime, shot him five times in the head, prosecutors said.
The search for Bowman and his silver BMW lasted weeks, keeping Seattle on edge about a killing that was initially thought to be road rage. The trial started more than two years after Noll was killed the night of Aug. 31, 2012.
After the shooting, the prosecutor said, Bowman turned off his phone and went to dinner at Red Robin with his wife. The next day, they were in Portland – and police said Bowman was repairing the passenger-side window he shot through to kill Noll.
After getting a tip shortly after Noll’s death that Bowman looked similar to the suspect sketch distributed by police, officers began surveillance on his house. Neighbors noted the silver BMW, which was usually out, hadn’t been seen in the days after the killing.
Five days after Noll’s death, police said Bowman viewed a document called “How to Arrest Proof Yourself.” They said he also searched for how to delete his Internet browsing history and read news stories about the killing.
He even viewed a memorial page for the victim he randomly killed, police said. Prosecutors said in court documents he “assembled materials showing how to kill someone in the exact way he killed Yancy Noll.”
Prosecutors said in court last Wednesday that he chose a random victim to avoid an emotional connection. The gun parts were allegedly hidden in separate places at his work.
Bowman was arrested on Sept. 21, 2012 – 21 days after Noll’s death. A police search showed his car window had glass fragments consistent with being shot out.
Police said Bowman took his gun apart and hid the pieces.
When investigators searched Bowman’s business, Vague Industries, in South Seattle they recovered the slide from the Glock 19, they said was used to kill Noll. On the stand on Tuesday, CSI Detective Brian Stampfl described how he found the slide in a plastic bin wrapped in paper towels. Prosecutors had him hold it up to show the jury.
The defense will start presenting on Thursday morning. KIRO 7 will be in the courtroom.
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