Murder suspect: I shot victim - but in self-defense

Quick Facts: 

  • Murder suspect Dinh Bowman claims he killed Yancy Noll in self defense.
  • Said Noll threw wine bottle. Police found no evidence of that.
  • No witnesses back up road rage claim.
  • Jury shown video from Bowman's computer describing how to shoot through car window.
  • Noll was killed Aug. 31, 2012.

A man charged with a random shooting in Seattle admitted today that he shot the victim – but claimed it was self-defense.
Yancy Noll was killed as he was driving in North Seattle the evening of Aug. 31, 2012. The search for Noll's killer went on for weeks, until Bowman was arrested following a police stakeout.
The defense presented Bowman as a scared young man who was the victim of road rage, saying Noll targeted him with road rage after Bowman cut off his red Subaru on northbound Interstate 5.
"I felt it was this crazy bad dream and I was running from a monster," Bowman told the court Thursday.
Bowman said Noll threw a wine bottle that hit his head, and threw a water bottle that landed on Bowman's dashboard. Bowman said after the shooting he didn't think Noll was hit. He told the jury he didn't mean to kill him.
But police and prosecutors tell a very different story.
No witnesses ever came forward describing any road rage. Not after news reports showed Bowman's car fleeing the scene near the Maple Leaf Reservoir, nor in the weeks-long manhunt.
Prosecutors say Noll was driving near 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street when Bowman, a trained marksman who had researched how to kill and cover up his crime, shot Noll in the head five times.
Police evidence shows that back home, Bowman searched for how to delete his internet history and read a document titled, "How to Arrest Proof Yourself." They said he'd previously assembled documents showing how to kill someone in the exact way he killed Noll and had a video on his computer describing how to shoot through the passenger window of a car.
In court on Thursday, Bowman claimed he never watched it.
Bowman also claimed he threw away the wine bottle Noll allegedly hurled. Asked why he never called police, Bowman said he didn't think they'd believe him.
A police search showed Bowman did search for news coverage of the killing shortly after he shot Noll to death. And the night he killed him, Bowman and his wife went to Red Robin.
Parts of the gun he used were hidden in separate places – an attempt to hide his crime, according to the prosecutors, or the act of a scared young man, according to Bowman's defense.
The dent in Noll's car wasn't from road rage – it was there long before, his best friend testified.
Bowman talked to a friend who had a similar car about swapping vehicles of a while after the shooting. Bowman and his wife drove to Portland where they had the shattered window replaced, and the manager of a Lynnwood tire store testified it was odd that Bowman wanted new tires shortly after the shooting – and wanted to keep the old tires.
Bowman didn't want his information on the tire store invoice.
"Shooting Yancy Noll was like a movie," Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adrienne McCoy told the jury Thursday.
Noll's defense attorney said the prosecution is "desperate" with attempts to get additional files from Bowman's computer entered as evidence.
But King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller decided to allow more of Bowman's journals to be introduced now that Bowman claimed he killed Noll in self-defense.
The judge also allowed the prosecutor to show the jury how the massive amounts of information on Bowman's computer was organized.
The trial continues Monday morning, Dec. 8.

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