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Woman acquitted in model’s slaying is arrested on suspicion of conspiracy

Kelly Soo Park reacts in 2013 after being found not guilty of strangling 21-year-old Juliana Redding in her Santa Monica residence in 2008.

Kelly Soo Park reacts in 2013 after being found not guilty of strangling 21-year-old Juliana Redding in her Santa Monica residence in 2008.

(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

A woman acquitted of murder two years ago in the high-profile death of an aspiring model in Santa Monica has been arrested by the district attorney’s office on suspicion of conspiracy to a commit a crime, arrest records show.

Kelly Soo Park, 49, was arrested Monday morning in Thousand Oaks by investigators with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and is being held at a county jail, arrest and jail records show. Her bail was set at $18.5 million, online jail records show. The records do not provide any other details about the reason for her arrest.

District attorney’s officials declined to comment on the arrest Tuesday.

Jurors in 2013 found Park not guilty of strangling of 21-year-old Juliana Redding in her Santa Monica home in March 2008. Authorities said that Park was involved in the killing after they found her DNA on numerous items at the crime scene.

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Park’s genetic material was found on Redding’s clothing and the inside of the locked front door of her Santa Monica apartment. It also was on Redding’s cellphone, which had been used to make a 911 call that did not go through, and the knob of a stove that was left on, filling the home with gas. It was also on the victim’s neck.

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Prosecutors said before trial that a Beverly Hills doctor sent Park to shake down Redding to convince the young woman’s father to reconsider a business deal he had just dropped with the doctor.

The district attorney’s office argued that the evidence would show that Park had been used by Dr. Munir Uwaydah to confront others in the past.

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But a judge decided that prosecutors should not be allowed to introduce such evidence during the trial.

Nevertheless, prosecutors argued during the trial that the doctor was a key connection between Park and the victim.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Stacy Okun-Wiese told jurors that Uwaydah employed Park and briefly dated Redding in 2007. During that time, the doctor offered to go into business with Redding’s father, an Arizona-based pharmacist. Redding, also an aspiring actress, was killed March 15, 2008, five days after her father broke off negotiations with Uwaydah, Okun-Wiese said.

The prosecutor told jurors that more than $1 million was transferred to Park from a company owned by Uwaydah. The doctor was not charged in Redding’s death and has denied any involvement.

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Park’s lawyers argued during the trial that her DNA could have been transferred to Redding’s home through a third party.

For more Southern California crime news, follow @lacrimes

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