VANCOUVER, Wash. — The murder trial of David Bogdanov continues in Clark County Court for a second week. He stands trial for the murder of transgender teen Nikki Kuhnhausen in 2019.
During opening statements, the prosecution explained to the jury that they would see that Bogdanov strangled Kuhnhausen with a phone cord and her own hair. Her decomposed remains were found in December 2019 in a wooded area of Larch Mountain in Washington.
On the sixth day, Bogdanov took the stand in his own defense believing he could be his own best advocate. He cried through most of his testimony. He shared that he didn’t understand the gay lifestyle and it disgusted him. If he knew that Nikki was a man, he would’ve never hooked up with her because he didn’t want to face the humiliation.
David had a concealed weapons permit and always carried a loaded handgun. He said he set the gun between the console and the driver’s seat when he took Nikki along to pick-up his Audi at his brother’s house. He found her in the back seat of his car using a meth pipe. They started kissing and became intimate. When David felt Nikki’s crotch, he says he knew right away she was transgender. He tried to push her away. According to him, she started scratching and clawing at his face and eyes.
“All I wanted her to do was get out of the car. I was afraid she would grab the gun. I freaked out pushing her back saying, you didn’t tell me you were a dude. It was disgusting” Bogdanov testified.
He continued that when he tried to restrain Nikki, he couldn’t get a good grip on her jacket, so he reached for a phone charger cable in the pocket behind the passenger seat. He first had it around her chest and arms. It moved up to her neck according to him because she was fighting so hard. Once she passed out, he was scared and didn’t know what to do.
“I never intended to hurt her. I believed she would kill me.”
Bogdanov drove to Larch Mountain where would target shoot. He dumped her body there with the phone charger cable.
He purchased an impromptu one-way ticket to the Ukraine and returned six months later thinking he was in the clear. His cell phone records put him at the scene on the night Nikki was killed.
The prosecution and defense make their closing arguments this afternoon. The judge will then give instructions to the jury and the case will go to them for deliberations. He told jurors last week that talking, texting, emailing or use of other social media in regard to this case is not allowed and that they should not watch any media coverage pertaining to this case.
Bogdanov faces second-degree murder charges. The case is being tried as a hate crime. Nikki’s Law protecting transgender, gay, and LGBTQ individuals came to be because of Kuhnhausen’s death.