A man convicted in the 1992 murder of an honors student in Buena Park has been granted parole.
Kirn Young Kim, 36, was 16 when he and four other teens carried out a plot to kill 17-year-old Stuart Tay. For his role as lookout during the brutal beating, he was tried as an adult and received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Last year, a parole board granted Kim his release, a decision which was then reversed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Kim’s attorney appealed that reversal to the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal.
According to a court document, the governor reversed the board’s decision believing that Kim had not been honest about his role in the murder. To the parole board, however, the document went on to say that Kim had shown he was a model prisoner and presented psychological reports that said he proved a low risk for reoffending. Kim also told the board he took responsibility for his actions.
In an opinion, court officials noted Kim had no criminal record before the murder, and he had not been involved in gangs, drugs or alcohol. While in prison, he had furthered his education, avoided the need for discipline and received commendations from officers and staff.
The New Year’s Eve killing in 1992 received international attention and resulted in convictions of five teens, four of whom were tried as adults. During their trials in 1994, prosecutors said Sunny Hills High School student Robert Chan orchestrated the killing because he feared Tay would tell authorities about a plan to rob a computer salesman.
Along with Kim and Chan, Abraham Acosta, Mung Bong Kang and Charles Choe were prosecuted for the crime.
By CLAUDIA KOERNER/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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