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Trial begins for Vancouver man accused in teen’s strangulation

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
2 Photos
David Y. Bogdanov appears Jan. 2, 2020, for a bail review hearing in connection with the death of Nikki Kuhnhausen in Clark County Superior Court.
David Y. Bogdanov appears Jan. 2, 2020, for a bail review hearing in connection with the death of Nikki Kuhnhausen in Clark County Superior Court. (The Columbian files) Photo Gallery

The murder trial for a Vancouver man accused of strangling a teenager to death in 2019 after learning she was transgender began Monday in Clark County Superior Court with jury selection.

David Y. Bogdanov, 27, is charged with second-degree murder and malicious harassment, now legally called a hate-crime offense in Washington, in the 17-year-old girl’s death.

The prosecuting and defense attorneys will continue to question potential jurors Tuesday morning; they could begin opening statements in the trial as soon as later in the morning.

The trial is scheduled to take up to two weeks.

Nikki Kuhnhausen disappeared in early June 2019. Her remains were discovered Dec. 7, 2019, after someone reported finding a human skull in the woods at Larch Mountain, southeast of Battle Ground.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Colin Hayes said during Bogdanov’s bail hearing that investigators learned Bogdanov purchased a one-way ticket to Ukraine on the day of Kuhnhausen’s alleged murder. He did not return to the area until Aug. 26, 2019.

Bogdanov’s travel history showed that he left the United States on June 7, 2019, with a flight destination of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Kiev, Ukraine. He re-entered the U.S. on July 15, 2019, according to the prosecution’s motion to increase bail.

Prospective jurors Monday answered questions about biases concerning LGBTQ people, Russian people, the use of the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, self-defense and the truthfulness of police.

Bogdanov sat with his attorney is the courtroom during the questioning wearing a suit. He is being held in the Clark County Jail. His bail is set at $2 million.

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