Mother of accused driver charged

Diane Bakdash has been charged as an accessory in Ben Van Handel’s death.
April 27, 2011

Hours after Timothy Bakdash was charged with second-degree intentional murder in the death of University of Minnesota student Ben Van Handel, Bakdash’s mother was arrested in connection to the crime.
Diane Bakdash, 66, was arrested Monday night while visiting her son in jail on charges of accessory after the fact, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Police allege that she quickly signed over the title of the car Bakdash used in an intentional attempt to run over four people April 15 in Dinkytown. This allowed him to elude authorities.
Timothy Bakdash, 29, tried to plow into a group of students while driving the wrong way on Fifth Street Southeast, thinking it was the same group he had been fighting with at The Library Bar earlier that night, according to the original complaint.
He allegedly confessed the crime to the man who bought the dented Mitsubishi Galant he used in the hit-and-run. The man, referred to as “B.B.” in the complaint, bought the car for $1,500 the same day as the accident. According to the complaint, B.B. told investigators he overheard Bakdash talking to his mother, who told her son to “get rid of that car that night.”
The man said Timothy Bakdash said he meant to hit three people in the group, and “had no remorse” for the hit-and-run. It was not clear which three victims were targeted, according to the complaint.
After the car hit him, Van Handel, 23, was in a coma for five days before dying April 21.
Timothy Bakdash made his first court appearance Tuesday. Diane Bakdash’s first appearance in court is scheduled for today.

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