Prosecutor says defendant was on a ‘murder quest’ in Yancy Noll killing

Nov 20, 2014, 5:48 AM | Updated: 7:15 am
Murder suspect Dinh Bowman is led into court at the start of his murder trial in Seattle Wednesday....
Murder suspect Dinh Bowman is led into court at the start of his murder trial in Seattle Wednesday. (Tim Haeck/KIRO Radio)
(Tim Haeck/KIRO Radio)

At first, Seattle police thought it must have been road rage. There was seemingly no other explanation for the shooting death of a Seattle wine steward as he sat in his car, waiting for a light to change in August 2012. As a murder trial gets underway, the prosecutor says it was a random killing, but one that was planned far in advance.

Easing alongside Yancy Noll’s beat-up Subaru at 15th NE and NE 75th, another driver pulled out a 9mm Glock handgun.

“Aimed it at Yancy’s head, fired through his own passenger window, shattering the glass and fired his weapon five times,” King County deputy prosecutor Adrienne McCoy told jurors.

Four shots hit the mark. Police assumed it was road rage because they couldn’t explain why somebody would open fire on a complete stranger in broad daylight.

“They were looking for someone with a motive. They had no idea they were looking for a student of murder, for someone for whom the murder was the motive,” McCoy offered in her opening statement.

A few days after the killing, a tipster put police on to Dinh Bowman and they staked out his home, about ten blocks from the crime scene. When they had enough for a search warrant for Bowman’s home and his business, McCoy told the jury investigators found volumes of information about guns and murder, a reference library including materials about how to commit a murder and how to get away with it, said McCoy, adding some of the suggestions matched exactly how Noll was killed.

“It was only then that the police knew, as you will know, this was not road rage,” declared McCoy. She said Bowman was on a quest to learn what it was like to kill someone, “and now he knows,” she concluded.

Defense attorney John Henry Browne objected to the prosecutor’s characterization of Bowman but declined to give the jury an opening statement of his own, telling KIRO Radio earlier this week that it was a road rage situation and a case of self defense.

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Prosecutor says defendant was on a ‘murder quest’ in Yancy Noll killing