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July 27, 2015

Man Pleads Guilty to Five Murders in Antelope Valley

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A 44-year-old man has pleaded guilty to murdering two men, a woman and her two children, then torching a Quartz Hills home during a bloody rampage seven years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Steve Kwon entered his plea late yesterday in case BA361224 as a jury was being picked for his trial. Kwon and co-defendant Jae Shim, 46, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of Shim’s ex-wife Jenny Young Park, 34; her daughter, Jamie, 13; her son, Justin, 11; a relative, Joseph Ciganek, 60; and Young’s boyfriend, Si Young Yoon, also 34. Both men also pleaded guilty to one count of arson of an inhabited structure.

The five victims were brutally stabbed and bludgeoned to death on June 23, 2008. The two children, along with their mother, also were set on fire.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman with the Major Crimes Division, who prosecuted the case along with Deputy District Attorneys Tannaz Mokayef and Eileen Kim, said Shim became enraged that his ex-wife was recently engaged to Yoon.

Shim enlisted the help of Kwon, a lifelong friend from Korea to murder the victims. The wife of Joseph Ciganek, Young Park’s cousin, also was an intended victim, but survived because she was not home when the crimes occurred.

In February, Shim also admitted the special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders and that he personally used a Samurai sword and baseball bat to stab and beat his ex-wife and the other victims to death.

As part of his plea agreement, Shim helped lead authorities to the remains of Yoon, who had been missing since 2008. His remains were located in December 2014 in Mexico.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21. Shim faces five consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Kwon faces 125 years to life.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / case BA361224 / July 24, 2015

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