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Trial starts in 2012 stoplight shooting death of Capitol Hill QFC wine steward — UPDATE

UPDATE 11/19/2014 2:30 PM: Bowman, center, sits with his lawyers as the trial opened Wednesday with a dramatic statement from the prosecution. The defense, meanwhile, opted not to make an opening statement in the case.

UPDATE 11/19/2014 2:30 PM: Bowman, center, sits with his lawyers as the trial opened Wednesday with a dramatic statement from the prosecution. The defense, meanwhile, opted not to make an opening statement in the case.

UPDATE 11/19/2014 4:15 PM: A “student of murder” is how prosecutors described Thomasdinh Bowman in the dramatic opening statements in the trial against the man accused of killing Capitol Hill QFC wine steward Yancy Noll. The first degree murder trial got underway Wednesday afternoon in a court room packed with Noll’s family and friends.

While prosecutors initially called Bowman’s alleged actions a “thrill kill,” on Wednesday they painted Bowman, 31, as a calculated killer who studied how to get away with murder. Prosecutors described in graphic detail how Bowman allegedly fired four bullets into Noll’s head and face while both men sat in their cars at a north Seattle stoplight in August 2012.

“He left Yancy Noll dying in his car. Two hours later he was having dinner with his wife,” said senior deputy prosecuting attorney Adrienne McCoy.

Bowman faces a 20-30 year prison sentence, plus an additional five years for using a firearm. He was calm and emotionless through the proceedings, wearing a light blue sweater and neatly combed hair.

Defense attorney John Henry Browne opted not to make an opening statement on Wednesday. After the proceedings, Browne told CHS he may use a self-defense argument in the case.

The trial will resume on Thursday. Browne said the trial would likely end sometime in December.

Original Report: The Death Dealer’s Manual is a 100-page book first published in 1982 that describes in detail how to kill a person and (supposedly) how to get away with it. According to court documents, Thomasdinh Bowman studied the book and others like it before he allegedly shot and killed Capitol Hill QFC wine steward Yancy Noll in 2012.

Bowman allegedly pulled up beside the 43-year-old Noll at a stoplight at 15th Ave NE and 75th and shot him in the head with a 9mm pistol — a scenario prosecutors say was lifted play-by-play from the manual.

Detectives also found Bowman, 31, had collected forensic science journal articles on car glass evidence and other issues directly relevant to how he allegedly carried out the shooting.Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.02.01 PM

Initially prosecutors characterized Bowman’s alleged actions as a “thrill kill.” In a recent brief filed with the court, prosecutors painted Bowman as someone who went to great lengths to research and methodically commit a random murder. Upon seizing Bowman’s computer, police investigators obtained a trove of documents, videos, and books on how to carry out an assassination.

Bowman pleaded not guilty to the shooting in 2012.

After months of delayed hearings, opening statements in the Bowman trial are finally slated to start this week. Defense attorney John Henry Browne, who once represented serial killer Ted Bundy, did not file a brief ahead of opening statements.


(Image: Yancy Noll Memorial Page via Facebook)

Browne did request that the court prevent anyone in the courtroom from displaying anything to show their support for Noll. During Bowman’s 2012 arraignment hearing some of those close to Noll wore green ribbons to honor Noll’s favorite color.

In addition to being a skilled marksman, prosecutors say detectives discovered that Bowman made his own bullets and kept a gun room in his home filled with weaponry. Bowman also kept a journal where he allegedly fantasized about being a hitman and making a movie about it. According to the King County Prosecutor, detectives found a video showing Bowman at a 2011 shooting competition.

Police said an anonymous tip following the Noll’s death led them to start investigating Bowman, who was arrested several weeks after the August 2012 shooting. Upon searching his computer after his arrest, detectives found Bowman had viewed news stories on Noll’s death, visited the memorial Facebook page for Noll, and read articles on drive-by shootings. According to police, Bowman also left town the day after the shooting to replace tires and a broken window on his car and then kept it hidden until his arrest.

According to the Seattle Times, Bowman was a child prodigy who excelled at using computers from a young age. A Times reporter interviewed a 13-year-old Bowman in 1996.

Noll began working as the Broadway Market QFC wine steward in August 2010. Following his death, coworkers and customers expressed an outpouring of grief online and at a roadside memorial.

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13 thoughts on “Trial starts in 2012 stoplight shooting death of Capitol Hill QFC wine steward — UPDATE

    • I am conflicted on the issue of the death penalty, but in this case I think I’d support it as well. This POS doesn’t deserve to breathe air.

      • I am somewhat conflicted on the death penalty because I’ve seen how it’s used and abused in Texas and can’t help but think if they can put innocent people to death in Texas, they can do it anywhere. Still, I realize Texas is the exception not the rule.

        If we don’t have any real consequences for these monsters, there will never be a reduction of crime.

  1. Wow. I’d assumed it was road rage, but this is just psychotic. I can’t imagine what it was like to be married to this person. So thankful for whoever called in the tip.

    • From what I remember when this happened, his wife was very supportive of what he had done, and had congratulated him on the killing. If that is in fact the case, she should be sitting right next to him when he gets the chair

      • I don’t remember reading she was supportive or congratulated him (she might have, but I don’t remember reading that); but she definitely helped him cover it up.

      • I too have read about Jennifer Leah Bowman’s note on the fridge congratulating her husband. However the reports made it sound like she was congratulating his performance in a shooting competition.

        There’s also this: “A video pulled from his wife’s Flickr account shows [Thomasdinh Bowman] running an obstacle course with a .45 auto nailing target after target rapid fire. He goes through several magazines, then knocks down a number of small targets one-handed, firing both left and right-handed. ”

        It could be she was helping him. I’ve read, recently, summer 2012 Seattle news items about multiple people in a silver BMW challenging people to race and one man opening fire at other vehicles. Interesting how that stopped after Thomasdinh Bowman was arrested for homicide.

        I remember discussing with someone why Dr. Bowman would lie to police and hide from them. Someone could argue she was terrified of him, but she’s a dentist, and a (unrecommended) Yelp review from a “Thomas N.” (Thomasdinh Newsome, maybe?) claimed “I have had many needle injections here…. and Dr. Bowman does this without giving me any pain or discomfort…. sometimes I don’t even know she has given me an injection until she is finished and returning the needle to the tray…” She could anesthetize him no sweat.

  2. …”10TB of data.”

    Holy Cow! I have business data, personal data, a software library, movies, music, books, virtual machines, some of it going back to the early 1990’s, it’s 3TB – maybe 4TB if you include backups.
    I’m wondering if very little of the 10TB has anything to do with the documents and video mentioned. Hmmmm. I guess you could use up the space with raw (uncompressed) video, but almost every consumer device on the market from smart phones to actual digital camera’s encodes and compresses every video by default.

  3. Pingback: Accused killer claims Capitol Hill wine steward tossed bottles in fit of road rage | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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