Long sentences given to 2 men in samurai sword killings

AP News
Posted: Oct 02, 2015 8:28 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men convicted of murdering five people, including two children and a NASA scientist, with a samurai sword and baseball bat will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison after they were sentenced Friday.

Saying evil was standing in his courtroom, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ordered lengthy terms for the two lifelong friends who met as kids in Korea, 46-year-old Jae Shim and 45-year-old Steve Kwon.

"These crimes were hideous," Fidler said before the sentencing, according to City News Service. "They were brutal beyond belief."

Shim was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Kwon was given 125 years to life.

The men were convicted of the 2008 killings of Shim's ex-wife, 34-year-old Jenny Young Park; her boyfriend, 34-year-old Si Young Yoon; her daughter, 13-year-old Jamie; and her son, 11-year-old Justin.

Also killed was Joseph Ciganek, 60, who worked as an engineer at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. He was married to Park's cousin, who likely would have been the sixth victim has she been at the home instead of at work, prosecutors said.

Shim had been in a custody battle with his ex-wife Park.

Prosecutors said the two men set some of the bodies on fire and burned down the house in Quartz Hill 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

The two men had planned to frame the boyfriend Yoon for the killings and they had buried his body elsewhere, prosecutors said, but they unintentionally left the sword and bat behind.