Mark R. Madler
A 55-year-old Burbank man was sentenced Tuesday to a minimum of 15
years in prison for the strangulation murder of his wife in 2003.
Joong Myung Kim bowed his head as Burbank Superior Court Judge
Zaven V. Sinanian handed down the sentence of 15 years to life Tuesday morning.
Kim was convicted in June of second degree murder for strangling
his 45-year-old wife Young Sun Cho in their apartment in the 600
block of Cedar Avenue in July 2003.
Since the jury found the murder not to be premeditated, the judge
has the option of placing Kim on probation or sending him to prison,
Deputy District Atty. Natalie Adomian said.
Probation was denied because of the seriousness of the crime and
because Kim broke the trust and belief that Cho had in him as her
husband, Sinanian said.
Deputy Public Defender Natalie Parisky, the attorney representing
Kim, had no comment on the sentencing following the hearing.
Kim will receive credit for the 728 days he has spent in the Los
Angeles County Jail since his arrest, Sinanian said.
Kim, a former deliveryman who quit his job the day before the
murder of his wife, was also ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution.
During the four-day trial, Rina So, the daughter of Cho, testified
that her mother and Kim had an abusive relationship.
She was present the night her mother died. Her 911 call that her mother was not breathing brought police to the apartment where the
couple and So lived.
As part of the defense, Parisky said Kim was provoked into
strangling Cho because she was not living up to a promise to pay for
Kim to return to Korea.
Following the murder, Kim left the city and was arrested several
days later after crashing his Toyota Camry on Interstate 15 between
Baker, Calif., and Primm, Nev.