Jury set to deliberate fatal 2012 Seattle traffic shooting

Dec 9, 2014, 6:18 PM | Updated: 7:02 pm
Closing arguments are over and jurors must now decide if the murder of a Seattle wine steward in 20...
Closing arguments are over and jurors must now decide if the murder of a Seattle wine steward in 2012 was the work of a "student of murder" or self-defense by a terrified motorist. Dinh Bowman is charged with murder in the first degree for the killing of Yancy Noll. (KIRO Radio file photo/Tim Haeck)
(KIRO Radio file photo/Tim Haeck)

Dinh Bowman, thrill-killer or terrified motorist? Closing arguments are over and jurors must now decide if the murder of a Seattle wine steward in August 2012 was the work of a “student of murder” or self-defense by a terrified motorist.

For more than two days, Bowman, who turned 32 years old on Tuesday, told jurors about how he accidentally cut off another driver who then chased him down and threatened him, making gun gestures, even throwing a full wine bottle at his head.

In her closing argument, senior deputy King County prosecuting attorney Kristin Richardson told jurors that is a fairytale.

“This is not a man who acted in self-defense on the spur of the moment. This is a man who knew exactly what he needed to do because he had studied what to do after killing someone and he put it instantly into action,” she told jurors.

Investigators recovered volumes of material from Bowman’s computer, including manuals describing how to kill and avoid capture. Bowman insisted that he inadvertently downloaded that material and never read it.

The prosecutor said Bowman was a marksman and that Yancy Noll likely turned to face his killer as the two drivers came to a stop, side by side, at a Roosevelt neighborhood traffic signal. She said Bowman aimed his 9mm Glock at Noll and shot him multiple times in the head.

“And that’s premeditated murder,” Richardson said.

Bowman tried to cover up the crime and denied his involvement after his arrest.

“For two years, he lied to his parents,” Richardson told the jury.

“People who experience tragic incidents, like war or like self-defense, don’t share those things with their loved ones,” countered defense attorney John Henry Browne in his closing argument.

He told the jury that the state has the burden to disprove Bowman’s self-defense claim.

“You go back in there, you go ‘I have a doubt as to whether it was self-defense, or not;’ you must acquit,” Browne argued.

The jury will start deliberating a verdict Wednesday morning on a single charge; murder in the first degree.

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Jury set to deliberate fatal 2012 Seattle traffic shooting