City Pages – 2011-04-29
Now that 66-year-old Diane Bakdash has appeared in court on the charge of accessory after the fact to murder, we’re getting a look at the criminal complaint against her, and seeing a glimpse of her defense strategy.
Judge Daniel Mabley agreed to reduce her bail to $100,000 from the initial $1 million bond.
The woman’s son, Timothy Ayman Bakdash, has already been charged with second-degree murder for deliberately driving his car into three university students in Dinkytown April 15.
One of those three, Ben Van Handel, died five days later.
According to the complaint, Timothy Bakdash tried to sell the car shortly after the incident, presumably to make it harder for police to find him. The man he sold the car to told police he heard Diane Bakdash tell her son over the phone that “he had to get rid of the car that night.” She then signed the title, completing the transaction.
Diane Bakdash’s lawyer, Ryan Garry, told the court his client is innocent, because she didn’t know her son had been involved in a crime when she helped him sell the Mitsubishi Galant he used to run over his victims.
But that may prove a difficult case to sell in court; if Bakdash knew the car was badly damaged, even if she thought it was in a property-damage hit-and-run, she could still be guilty as an accomplice.
After characterizing Timothy Bakdash as a man battling chemical dependency, Garry also told the judge of the “irony” that Diane Bakdash was a respected nurse, and an occasional witness for the county attorney’s office, who had worked with others struggling with chemical dependency.
Minneapolis Police are still so far refusing to release booking photos for either Timothy or Diane Bakdash, saying only that the investigation into the case is ongoing.
By Nick Pinto