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Reputed Hit Man Given 8-Year Sentence : Crime: Mobster allegedly organized a botched murder-for-hire scheme targeting a Lake Forest man.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A reputed hit man was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in federal prison for his role in a botched murder-for-hire scheme that was organized by an alleged Las Vegas mobster.

Blake Yoon, 28, of Los Angeles was the leader of a three-man “hit crew” who beat Lake Forest resident Wilbur Constable, 27, with baseball bats after luring the former Marine to a deserted parking lot in Irvine on Oct. 11, 1991. Constable, who was also shot once in the head, survived the assault.

Yoon apologized Tuesday for the attack, saying he felt “disgust” and shame when he learned that Constable was just a man who had “gotten in the way of someone’s love interest.”

“Ultimately, I know there’s no one to blame except myself,” Yoon said. “A man always has a choice, and I made all the wrong ones.”

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Prosecutors alleged that reputed mobster Richard J. Dota hired Yoon, John Caravaggio and Scott Douglass Smith to carry out the attack at the request of South County businessman Julius F. Schill. Schill was acquitted of all charges last year.

Dota was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison, and Smith and Caravaggio each received two years in federal prison.

During Schill’s trial, prosecutors claimed that Schill wanted Constable killed so he could begin a relationship with Constable’s girlfriend, Cynthia Asher, who was Schill’s secretary at the time.

Asher testified during the trial that Schill promised her a lavish lifestyle if she would become his lover. Schill testified that he had no motive because he and Asher were lovers. He denied any role in Constable’s attack.

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Jurors said that Asher’s testimony was unreliable and that there was insufficient evidence against Schill.

Yoon pleaded guilty to an attempted murder-for-hire charge and faced up to 240 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. But he received a sentence reduction in exchange for testimony against his fellow defendants in the case and providing evidence in at least three other federal cases, attorneys said.

Defense attorney Richard H. Kirschner, contending that Yoon’s life is in danger because of his cooperation with the government, had asked for a sentence of up to four years in prison. U.S. District Judge Gary Taylor told Yoon that prosecutors can request a further reduction in his sentence in exchange for further cooperation.


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