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Bowman found guilty in murder of Yancy Noll

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Bowman was taken away immediately after a King County jury convicted him of first degree murder (Photo: Bryan Cohen, CHS)

A King County jury has found Thomasdinh Bowman guilty of first degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Capitol Hill QFC wine steward Yancy Noll.

After one day of deliberation, the jury upheld the prosecutor’s claims that Bowman’s actions were premeditated, not stemming from road rage or self-defense, as Bowman had claimed.

Bowman, 32, showed little emotion as the verdict was read on Thursday. He remained emotionless through much of the three week trial, where prosecutors finished their closing remarks on Tuesday. Prior to reading the verdict, Judge Bruce Heller commended the jury for their work.

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Bowman, who pleaded not guilty to the murder in 2012, faces a 20 to 30 year prison sentence, plus an additional five years for using a firearm. The judge did not set a date for sentencing.

After the verdict was read, defense attorney John Henry Browne told reporters he was not surprised by the decision and vowed to appeal the conviction. Under the law, Bowman could have asked the judge to have the jury consider a second degree murder charge. Instead, Browne said Bowman wanted to challenge the first degree charge head-on.

(Image: Yancy Noll Memorial Page via Facebook)

(Image: Yancy Noll Memorial Page via Facebook)

During the first two weeks of trial, prosecutors painted Bowman as a “student of death” who sought out a random target to kill.

Bowman told jurors he shot Noll in self-defense at 15th Ave NE and 75th in a road rage incident that got out of control. According to Bowman, the incident began when he abruptly stopped his car ahead of Noll’s on the I-5 ship canal bridge. Bowman said it sent Noll into such a rage that he hurled a wine bottle and water bottle into Bowman’s convertible, then nearly chased Bowman off a north Seattle road.

As Noll approached, Bowman testified that he saw Noll reach for something in his car. That’s when Bowman opened a bag that contained his hand gun. Bowman said he doesn’t remember firing the shots that killed Noll, he only remembered trying to get away from the scene.

On cross-examination, prosecutors said Bowman’s story did not hold up. Police found no evidence of the bottles being thrown, nor did any drivers come forward to corroborate Bowman’s claims.

After the shooting, Bowman went to great lengths to hide from police and didn’t tell his wife of seven years about the incident. Bowman said he didn’t to go to police because he was afraid they wouldn’t believe his story. Prosecutor’s said Bowman’s actions showed he was trying to get away with murder.

Police arrested Bowman three weeks later when a tipster recognized a sketch of the suspect that police created with the help of witnesses.

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. As the judge delivered the jury’s decision on Thursday, Noll’s friends and family who gathered in the court room hugged and wiped tears from their eyes.

Noll's friends and family embrace after guilty verdict was read (Photo: Tim Durkan)

Noll’s friends and family embrace after Bowman’s guilty verdict was delivered (Photo: Tim Durkan)

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12 Comments
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CaphillTom
CaphillTom
5 years ago

Best possible outcome.

Paul on Bellevue
Paul on Bellevue
5 years ago

Good. Justice was served.

Lamonte Macon
5 years ago

Yancy miss ya buddy-from Bud Guy in NM

sdb
sdb
5 years ago

RIP Yancy.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

20-30 years? Not enough. No excuse for premeditated murder, life should be the bare minimum sentence.

calhoun
5 years ago

It’s eye-opening that someone who looks so young and “innocent” could be such a monster…..a good reminder that not all criminals look like criminals.

I agree that 20-30 years is a light sentence for this horrendous murder. Doesn’t a first degree murder conviction usually result in a life sentence?

CaphillTom
CaphillTom
5 years ago
Reply to  calhoun

apparently not.

andysea
andysea
5 years ago
Reply to  calhoun

I was surprised to hear 20~30 years as well.
I hope that this sentence will bring some sense of closure to Yancy’s friends and family.
It will, however, never relieve the burden of their tragic and senseless loss.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago
Reply to  andysea

Perhaps we are going the douche way of most of the EU that also considers a life sentence cruel punishment… This guy should never see the light of a free day again, anything less is a disservice to society.

Del
Del
5 years ago
Reply to  calhoun

Min 20, plus 1/3rd off for good behavior.

Kristy
Kristy
5 years ago

So, let me get this straight: Murder in the first degree is, as murders go, at the top of the chart, i.e., the most heinous. Murder One is more heinous than a murder committed as the result of passion, self-defense or the defense of others. If I understand correctly, to be found guilty of Murder One requires proof of pre-meditation, planning and preparation. If the foregoing is so, can someone please tell me what category of murder is above First Degree Murder? Because apparently the only thing missing from Dinh Bowman’s actions that August day was a particular target in mind. Is it possible his sentencing will not exceed 30 years solely because he did not know Yancy Noll personally? Is it really possible that, while it can be proven Bowman had the IDEA of killing someone, the METHOD for doing so and the COVER-UP thought out ahead of time, not having Yancy Noll in particular, in his thoughts somehow makes this Murder One less worthy of a lifetime conviction? If so, again, I ask, in all earnestness: What. Category. Of. Murder. Is. Above. Murder One? Seriously?

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