Man pleads not guilty to killing in Bellingham homeless encampment

A Bellingham man accused of shooting and killing a 27-year-old man in a tent encampment behind Walmart earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Travis Hamilton was charged Sept. 10 in Whatcom County Superior Court with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Scott Dobson, the Bellingham Herald reported.

Dobson’s death was ruled a homicide by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Hamilton’s trial has been scheduled for November. Hamilton remains incarcerated in the Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

On the afternoon of Sept. 3, people reported a person with a gunshot wound was in a tent at an encampment behind Walmart. Arriving authorities said they found Dobson’s body.

A witness told police they heard the gunshot and saw Hamilton standing near the opening of the tent where Dobson was found. The witness told police they saw a rifle leaning against a post near Hamilton and Dobson on the ground crawling toward the tent.

Hamilton told police he was sleeping in a folding chair at his camp and the sound of the gunshot woke him, according to court records. Hamilton told police he saw Dobson on the ground crawling toward Hamilton’s tent, but did not know who shot him.

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