SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The jury will start deliberations Thursday in the case against Kelly Soo Park, accused in the 2008 murder of then 21-year-old aspiring actress and model Juliana Redding.
In her closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutor Stacy Okun-Wiese said, “She took her bare hands, placed them around Juliana’s neck and she strangled her til she had her last breath of air.”
Okun-Wiese said Park, 47, was paid $1 million to kill the aspiring model in the victim’s Santa Monica apartment almost five years ago.
The DA added, “The evidence that points to the defendant [is overwhelming.] The evidence in this case is overwhelming. The DNA in this case, the numbers are overwhelming. ”
Evidence was presented during trial that said Park’s DNA was found on the victim’s cell phone, T-shirt and neck.
George Buehler, Park’s attorney, argued in his closing argument that the DA’s case was largely circumstantial. “It doesn’t tell you how the DNA got there, or when the DNA got there. Doesn’t tell you how long it’s been there.”
KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar reports the prosecutor theorized Park was hired by a wealthy doctor to kill Redding after Redding’s father dropped out of a business deal with him.
Park’s attorney said she didn’t have a motive and that she is physically incapable of manually strangling someone. The Coroner’s report said Redding was severely beaten and put up a huge fight — one of her fingernails was even ripped off. “Even though Mrs. Park may have three inches and 40 pounds on Ms. Redding, I submit to you, that’s not enough,” said Buehler.
The DA countered, “This girl was brutally, brutally murdered and the defendant in this courtroom is responsible for her murder.”