SANTA ANA (CBS) — A man has been convicted of first-degree murder and other charges for fatally shooting a woman and injuring four others at a Cypress cafe seven years ago.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Stephenson Choi Kim in connection with March 13, 2004, shooting at the 5th Wave Cafe. The penalty phase of trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley told jurors Kim fatally shot 21-year-old Venus Hyun in the back and wounded four others because he thought one of the victims had ties to a rival gang that had beaten him up.
Kim’s attorney countered that his 31-year-old client was not the gunman, and the only people who put him at the scene of the shooting were co-defendants who made deals with the prosecution to receive lighter sentences.
The San Gabriel resident was convicted of first-degree murder, six counts of attempted murder and street terrorism charges, with sentence-enhancing allegations of murder for a gang, shooting a gun, shooting a gun for a gang causing death and gang activity.
The prosecution made deals with six co-defendants who face life in prison so they could testify against Kim in the trial, which lasted more than a month.
The six, who face the same charges and life sentences, are next due in court March 25. They include: Robin Kim, 28, of Cerritos; Christopher Ung, 27, of Lakewood; Wilson Sun, 28, of Lakewood; Chakris Kanchapoomi, 27, of Long Beach; Ashil Manek Nair, 26, of Cerritos; and Glenn Lamuel Watkins, 24, of Lakewood.
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