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Appellate court upholds life sentence for stalking murderer of three women

Kim Tae-hyun speaks to the media at a police station in Seoul in April, last year. (Yonhap)
Kim Tae-hyun speaks to the media at a police station in Seoul in April, last year. (Yonhap)
An appellate court on Wednesday upheld life sentence of a South Korean man who murdered three women in the same family.

While upholding the lower court’s ruling, the Seoul High Court also insisted the 26-year-old murderer Kim Tae-hyun should be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“Although the judicial authority’s opinion has no binding force to parole decisions, the court should clarify its opinion regarding the opportunity of parole,” the court said. “The court insists that (Kim) should be sentenced to life imprisonment without the opportunity of parole while he is in prison. “

In March 2021, Kim disguised himself as a delivery person and entered the victims’ house in Nowon-gu, northeastern Seoul. He killed the younger sister of the woman he was stalking. He waited for the victim and her mother to arrive home and stabbed them to death.

Kim was arrested at the victims’ home days after he killed the victims.

According to police, Kim and the woman he stalked had become acquainted through an online game, and he committed his crimes after she cut off contact.

In the following month, Kim was indicted and later convicted of murder, theft, harassment, breaking and entering, as well as misusing communications networks.

At the first trial, the court rejected the prosecution’s request for the death penalty. The prosecution argued that the crime had been premeditated and planned in advance. The court, however, sentenced him to life in prison instead, saying that he acknowledged most of his crimes and previously had no serious criminal record.

However, the court’s decision was criticized by the public for the possibility of parole that comes with life imprisonment.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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