Twins Tearful as Court Hears of Their Childhood

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Twin sisters Sunny and Jeen Han, victim and defendant in a murder conspiracy trial, broke down in tears Wednesday when their difficult childhood in Korea and the United States was discussed in court.

Sunny Han, 23, testified that it was Jeen--now accused of plotting her murder--whom she has turned to all of her life, especially when their mother abandoned them and sent them to live with relatives.

Although she is a key prosecution witness in a case that could send Jeen to prison for life, Sunny Han made it clear where her loyalties lie.


“Currently, I want to do everything I can to help her,” Sunny Han told an Orange County Superior Court jury. “It’s not up to me anymore. I have to testify because of the law.”

As the defense wrapped up its case Wednesday, attorneys for Jeen Han questioned Sunny Han about her overdose of sleeping pills last week. They suggested Sunny Han staged the incident to garner more interest in the well-publicized trial and help sell the story to movie producers.

Sunny Han said she did not recall appearing in court Nov. 4, dazed and unable to stand on her own. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she remained for three days.

Sunny Han returned to the witness stand Wednesday and defense attorney Salvatore P. Ciulla asked about her absence from the trial.

“I don’t remember anything that happened on Tuesday at all,” she said. “All I remember is Monday night I took a lot of sleeping pills and found myself in the hospital.”

She testified that she took 24 to 27 pills because she had grown depressed testifying in a case that has dredged up painful memories.


“I was just emotionally extremely depressed,” she said.

Ciulla challenged her motives, asking if she was “trying to make as much money off this as you can.”

Sunny Han said she received $10,000 in January to appear on the television show “Hard Copy” and that others have offered $50,000 to $300,000 for future deals, none of which have been finalized.

She also acknowledged that a friend who has been acting as her media agent has heard from various TV shows since her overdose.

“Regardless of the way I feel, people are interested in it, so what can I do about it?” she testified.

Sunny Han grew emotional several times, especially when asked about Nov. 6, 1996, when she and her roommate were tied up at gunpoint by two men who barged into their Irvine apartment.

“This is what’s hard,” she said tearfully. “I’ve tried to forget about the whole thing that happened. I’ve tried to forget about it for a year.”


The prosecution contends that the suspected gunmen, Archie Bryant, 17, and John Sayarath, 16, conspired with Jeen Han to murder Sunny Han after the twins had been feuding.

Defense attorneys say the trio went to the apartment to retrieve Jeen Han’s belongings, which her sister had refused to return.

Sunny testified Wednesday about the close but sometimes stormy relationship with her sister and appeared to regret not returning the items her sister had requested.

Both the prosecution and defense attorneys rested their cases Wednesday. Attorneys for Bryant and Sayarath did not call any witnesses, while Jeen Han’s attorney called only three.

None of the defendants testified. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Jurors will return Monday for the trial’s closing arguments.