UPDATED: Not guilty verdict in murder trial
Convicted killer Jung Min Jun testified in Prince William County Circuit Court on Tuesday that he killed a relative out of rage over family issues, not a desire to collect on a $1 million insurance policy—and that his son, who is on trial for murder, had nothing to do with the crime.
Prosecutors allege that the son, Ho Young Jun, conspired with his father to bring about the killing on Sept. 21, 2011, at the River Run Senior Apartments in Dale City. During his testimony Tuesday, Jung Min Jun said that the murder was the result of years of family rancor, not greed.
"It was just an accident that happened out of a fit," Jung Min Jun testified through an interpreter, recalling how he strangled the 5'4", 105 pound Hur with a thin cord.
Prosecutors allege that Ho Young Jun wanted to obtain the money from the insurance policy he owned on Hur's life.
Jung Min Jun is serving 20 years in prison for the murder. Clad in an oversize white undershirt and sweatpants, Jung Min Jun told the jury that he was angry with Hur over money issues from years ago, when the two operated a small car wash together in Dumfries.
Hur was also encouraging Jung Min Jun's wife to obtain a divorce, he said. Jung Min Jun said that was the reason he took a cab from New York to Virginia on Sept. 1, 2011.
"I wanted to confront him, to know what he was doing, meddling in our family business," Jung Min Jun said.
Jung Min Jun's testimony, however, was riddled with small, significant contradictions to the testimony of multiple witnesses.
For instance, an acquaintance, Hyug Byun Hur (who is not related to the victim), testified that Jun had talked to him on several occasions about insurance.
"He said he had a life insurance policy on an old man," Hur said. "He said the owner is about 70 years old and he has to die quickly to receive the payout."
Yet Jung Min Jun also claimed not to know at the time of the murder that his son, Ho Young Jun, had a $1 million life insurance policy on the victim—a fact that Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney James Willett quickly pounced on.
"Do you know any reason why [Hur] would get on that witness stand and lie to this jury?" thundered Willett, as he cross-examined the elder Jun.
"No," Jun responded.
"You, on the other hand, have told a number of lies to the police."
"No, I did not."
To many of the questions posed by Willett, a number of which had to do with the grisly nature of the crime, Jung Min Jun said simply: "I don't recall."
At one point, Willett pointed to a medical examiner's photo of the bright red marks on Hur's neck. "You said you don't recall how many times you strangled him. Take a look at those pictures, sir, and see if that refreshes your memory."
Jung Min Jun barely glanced at the photo. "No."
Check back for more updates on the trial tomorrow.
Note: This article was published on May 7, 2013.