'I was going to die,' Murder suspect claims self-defense during road rage incident

SEATTLE -- More than two years after he allegedly shot and killed another driver, Dinh Bowman offers an explanation.

Bowman took the stand in his murder trial on Thursday. He told jurors he raised his gun and shot and killed fellow driver Yancy Noll in self defense.

“I felt if I didn’t do something I was going to die,” said Bowman.

According to Bowman, he cut Noll off in traffic, angering Noll, a popular local wine steward, who began chasing him, and throwing water and wine bottles at Bowman.

“I would describe it as violent hatred I’d only seen in the movies.”

Bowman, a target shooter in his spare time, told jurors he felt he had no choice but to draw his gun and shoot at Noll, ultimately killing him.

Bowman’s testimony is in stark contrast with what prosecutors contend: that he fantasized about being a hitman, studied manuals and books on it, and was looking for a thrill kill when he raised his gun at Yancy Noll.

“He fantasized, researched and prepared for the opportunity to kill another human being,” said Adrienne McCoy, a deputy prosecutor, during opening arguments. No witnesses ever came forward to back his claims that this was a case of road rage.

Bowman admitted in court that he threw away evidence, traveled out-of-town to fix his windshields, and changed his tires and wheels to conceal that the shooting happened.

He told jurors he did that out of fear.

“I realized at that point the police were looking at me as the bad guy,” said Bowman. “If they thought I was the bad guy, they probably would not believe what I had to say, so I really started feeling trapped.”