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Thursday, April 15, 2004



Gambling turf assault
gets man 10 years in jail


An alleged gang leader was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for assaulting two men in what police say was competition to provide protection at the island's illegal gambling rooms.

Hee Sung Yoo, also known as "Korean Johnny," broke In Song Kim's legs during an assault at a massage parlor on Kapiolani Boulevard in August.

During the same incident, Yoo hit Jung See Han on the head with a baseball bat at least four times, according to court testimony.

Police have said the assaults were one of several violent encounters in recent months between groups that provide security at gambling halls.

The rivalry spilled into the public eye in early January after a shooting at the Pali Golf Course left two dead. According to testimony in his trial, Yoo has ties to the three men in custody for the shooting.

In District Court yesterday, Judge Michael Wilson sentenced Yoo to 10 years for first-degree assault and five years for second-degree assault.

Yoo, who smashed the windows of Kim's sport utility vehicle during the incident, was also sentenced to five years for third-degree criminal property damage, said Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr.

Wilson ruled that Yoo will serve his prison terms at the same time, which amounts to 10 years behind bars.

Defense attorney Jonathan Burge said Yoo plans to appeal the sentence in light of documents, which were not allowed to the courtroom, that show "other competitors" were out to get Kim.

Yoo, who has been in police custody since October, was also ordered yesterday to pay $96,424 in restitution for Kim's medical bills and damaged car.

It took a jury less than two hours on Jan. 26 to find Yoo guilty of assaulting Kim and Han. He was found not guilty of stealing Kim's fanny pack, which contained $4,800.

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