David Bogdanov found guilty of trans teen murder


Courtesy of: NBC news

Mikayla Lallathin, Staff Reporter

27-year-old David Bogdanov has been convicted of second-degree murder and a hate-crime offense in the death of a transgender teen in Washington state over two years ago.

Prosecutors said Bogdanov met 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen in downtown Vancouver in June 2019, and that he strangled her with a phone charger cable after engaging in sexual contact in the back seat of his car while uncovering that she was transgender.

After Kuhnhausen’s death, Bogdanov dumped her body down the side of Larch Mountain, booked a one-way flight to Ukraine and called a friend to “get rid” of his car, according to trial testimony. He returned to the U.S. about six weeks later.

After the trial, a group supporting Nikki had this to say:  “We were all holding hands while we were awaiting the verdict to be read and that was really powerful,” said Linden Walls, a member of the group Justice for Nikki. “It felt like we were all together … and the sense of relief that came that we got justice for Nikki, that we were able to push this and the jury could see it and did the right thing.”

Bogdanov declared self-defense, testifying that he covered the cord around her shoulder to prevent her from reaching a gun he had near the driver’s seat after he ordered her to get out of the car. “The cord slipped to her neck”, he said. The courts did not find this believable and sentenced him. He faces a range of 11 to 19½ years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 9, prosecutors say.

In a Facebook post following the verdict, the group Justice for Nikki were ecstatic about the findings… “The long buildup to this trial, and the defense’s attempts to somehow paint Nikki, who was a 17-year-old girl, as being ‘responsible’ for the defendant’s violent actions, were excruciating for us, and particularly for Nikki’s mother Lisa,” the group wrote. “There’s no excuse for what happened to Nikki. This hate crime wounded our community.”

Even though this was a horrendous act, there is some good news. “In March 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1687 — dubbed the Nikki Kuhnhausen Act — that prevents a criminal defense based on discovery of a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.”