Crime

Prosecution shows view Bass may have had of Stavik from his room, then rests in murder trial

Here’s what we learned from the prosecuting attorney on day one of the Bass Trial

Timothy Bass faces charges for the alleged abduction, rape and murder of Amanda "Mandy" Stavik in 1989. Here's what we learned from the prosecuting attorney on day one of the trial.
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Timothy Bass faces charges for the alleged abduction, rape and murder of Amanda "Mandy" Stavik in 1989. Here's what we learned from the prosecuting attorney on day one of the trial.

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Bass on trial for Stavik’s death

Timothy Bass was convicted in Whatcom County Superior Court for the 1989 murder of Amanda Stavik.

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The prosecution rested its case against Timothy Forrest Bass on Friday, May 17, in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Bass is on trial for first-degree murder related to the 1989 death of 18-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Stavik.

David McEachran, who has been called back from retirement as a special prosecuting attorney for the case, called his last two witnesses to the stand Friday — detective Derek Bogle and detective Ken Gates, both with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Bogle took drone footage in 2018 from the Bass house on Strand Road in Clipper. He positioned the drone outside of Bass’ upstairs front bedroom window to show what his view of Strand Raod would have been. Another detective with a dog jogged by. The detective and dog were clearly visible in the footage.

Stavik went missing while on a run on Nov. 24, 1989. She was found dead in the south fork of the Nooksack River three days later.

Gates, who investigates major crimes and is specially-trained in crime scene investigation, helped serve a search warrant on Bass’ home in Everson in December 2017, as well as his truck, but testified that detectives were unable to locate green sweatpants that Stavik was wearing when she disappeared or any news clippings of Stavik or her disappearance and death.

Gates also testified that he took a cheek swab from Bass, which matched the suspect profile created from evidence taken from Stavik’s body, and the DNA on a plastic cup and Coke can Bass drank out of that Bass’ coworker turned in.

0517 Bass window.jpg
The prosecution shows a slide displaying the view from the room that used to be Timothy Bass’ on Strand Road during a first-degree murder trial Friday, May 17, in Whatcom County Superior Court. Denver Pratt dpratt@bhamherald.com

The trial so far

A jury was seated May 9 after four days of questioning. It consists of 12 jurors with four alternates. The jury is made up of eight men and four women.

Stavik’s family, friends and neighbors testified Monday and Tuesday, May 13-14.

Ron Peterson, the former Chief Civil Deputy for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office testified about finding Stavik’s body and preserving evidence.

Tom Bass, the defendant’s brother, testified Wednesday, May 15, about two meetings he held with his brother where his brother asked him to lie for him.

Whatcom County Medical Examiner Dr. Gary Goldfogel testified that Stavik’s death was consistent with someone abduction, raping and murdering her.

Kim Wagner, the coworker who turned in a plastic cup and Coke can with Bass’ DNA on it, testified Thursday, May 16, that she was motivated to do the right thing.

Gina Malone, Bass’ now ex-wife, also testified Thursday that Bass forbade her from attending Stavik’s memorial and moved their marriage up to less than two months after Stavik’s death. She also said Bass asked his mother if they could blame Stavik’s death on his dead father — a request his mother denied.

Kim Wagner, a coworker of Timothy Bass, testified on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The evidence Wagner provided led to Bass' arrest in December 2017 – almost three decades after Mandy Stavik's 1989 death.

Key people

David McEachran, who retired in December after 44 years as lead county prosecutor, was called back as a special prosecutor to handle the case.

Starck Follis, who is the director of the Whatcom County Public Defender’s Office, is one of three attorneys defending Timothy Bass.

Timothy Bass is accused of first-degree murder for the 1989 death of 18-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Stavik.

Amanda “Mandy” Stavik, 18, disappeared while jogging near her home in Clipper, near Acme, on Nov. 24, 1989. Three days later her nude body was found in the south fork of the Nooksack River.

Family, friends and neighbors of Amanda "Mandy" Stavik speak about when they last saw her on her jog in 1989 before she disappeared, during the trial at Whatcom County Superior Court on Monday, May 13, 2019.

Background on the case

On Nov. 24, 1989, 18-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Stavik went for a jog near her home in Clipper, near Acme, and never returned. Her body was found three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River. She was wearing only her jogging sneakers and socks.

In December 2017, 51-year-old Timothy Forrest Bass, of Everson, was arrested in connection with Stavik’s 1989 death. Bass’ fellow coworker turned in a plastic cup and Coke can he drank out of. Bass’ DNA reportedly matched the suspect profile created from evidence taken from Stavik’s body during an autopsy.

Bass is currently on trial for first-degree murder.

What’s next

The defense will start calling witnesses Monday, May 20. Their first witness is expected to be their expert witness who is expected to testify to issues with Dr. Gary Goldfogel’s finding that the DNA evidence found in Stavik’s body happened close to the time of her death. Bass has not yet decided whether he will testify, according Follis.

BEHIND OUR REPORTING

About our coverage

Reporter Denver Pratt will be in court every day of the Timothy Bass trial for the 1989 death of Amanda “Mandy” Stavik. Bass is accused of first-degree murder.

Check back weekdays for concise updates from court. Or, sign up for our Breaking News newsletter for updates.

You can also follow the reporter on Twitter @DenverPratt or @BhamHerald for live updates.

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Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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