CBS – 2011-09-29
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has dropped all criminal charges against the mother of a hit-and-run suspect, accused of intentionally hitting a man who later died. The suspect’s mother was accused of helping her son cover up the crime.
According to a release, Diane Patricia Bakdash, 66, is completely exonerated of all criminal charges. Bakdash had been charged with a misdemeanor for obstructing the legal process, after police say she allegedly told her son to get rid of the damaged car involved in the incident and signed the title so he could sell it to a friend.
Bakdash was previously charged with a felony for aiding and abetting murder and a felony for being an accomplice after the fact to murder, but those charges were dropped in August.
Bakdash’s son, Timothy Bakdash, 29, of Roseville, is accused of using his car to hit Benjamin Van Handel, 23, of Appleton, Wis., on April 15. Van Handel later died from his injuries. Two women were also injured in the incident.
Prosecutors say Timothy Bakdash intentionally hit the man in an act of revenge, but Van Handel wasn’t his intended target. It appears to be an case of mistaken identity.
Still, investigators said Bakdash was just as liable whether he intended to kill Van Handel or someone else.
Ryan Garry, attorney for Diane Bakdash, said in a release that his client is “anxious to move on with her life and put this matter behind her.”