Driver indicted in fatal run-down in Dinkytown

  • Updated: May 20, 2011 - 9:09 PM

Timothy Bakdash, 29, faces first-degree murder charge in death of one of three students hit by car on sidewalk near U.

A Roseville man accused of using his vehicle to run down a group of college students as they walked home from a Dinkytown bar last month has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.

A Hennepin County grand jury returned the indictment Wednesday against Timothy Bakdash, 29. The indictment also includes two counts of first-degree attempted murder.

Bakdash originally was charged with second-degree intentional murder and two counts of felony assault in the April 15 crash that killed student Benjamin Van Handel, 23, and left another student severely injured. He was arrested April 20, hours after Van Handel, an economics major from Appleton, Wis., died of severe brain injuries.

Charges say Bakdash was angry after arguing at the Library Bar with a group of students, including Van Handel. After the bar closed, he got into his car, and according to the charges he drove the wrong way down SE. 5th Street and plowed into the students. Also struck were 21-year-olds Katelynn Hanson and Sarah Bagley.

Bakdash's mother, Diane Bakdash, 66, was charged with being an accomplice after the fact, a felony, for allegedly helping her son hide the car after the crash.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence. Bakdash was in the county jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

ABBY SIMONS

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