LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing two women and a 2 1/2-year-old boy in a Miracle Mile-area apartment complex more than a decade ago.
Robin Kyu Cho, 55, was convicted in July 2012. His request for a new trial was rejected and a judge also declined to delay Cho’s sentencing for another 30 days.
Cho was convicted of murder for the May 5, 2003 shooting of 30-year-old Chi Hyon Song, and of second-degree murder in the killings of the boy, Nathan, and his 56-year-old nanny, Eun Sik Min.
Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty, but jurors instead recommended that Cho be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Deputy District Attorney Santoro told jurors that the killings were “sophisticated and deliberate,” while the defense maintained Cho’s innocence.
Song and her son lived with her husband and the couple’s older son in the same complex as Cho and his family. Song was found dead on the bathroom floor, her face and hands bound with strong packing tape, and her son and the nanny were found dead in the bathtub.
Cho was arrested in March 2009 in connection with the killings when the results of DNA testing on the fingertips of the latex gloves that stuck to tape used on Chi Song’s face were compared to Cho’s DNA profile.
Cho’s DNA had been taken after he pleaded guilty in June 2008 to one count each of selling unregistered securities and grand theft and was sentenced to five years of probation. Jurors did not hear about that conviction because it occurred after the killings, according to the prosecutor.
The motive for the murders remains unclear. During closing arguments, Santoro noted that prosecutors are not required by law to prove a motive.
“Who cares why Mr. Cho committed this murder?” he asked the jury, adding that, for whatever reason, “he pulled the trigger six times.”