Orange County District Attorney
Press Release

Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
August 8th, 2005
Contact:Mark Macaulay
Media Relations Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405

NEWPORT BEACH – Baby-sitter left in charge of neighbor’s 9-month-old baby girl was charged with murder and child abuse causing death.  Irvine mother, Sunhye Choi, 30, is accused of inflicting seven separate blows to the back of baby Nicole’s head which led to her death.  If convicted of all charges, Choi faces 25 years to life. 

Choi is married to a landscaper whom she met a couple of years ago.  They also have a 21-month-old child.  Choi was baby-sitting Nicole for Seung Jeong (father) and Kyung Min (mother) who live in the same Irvine apartment complex near Culver and the 405 freeway.  Jeong and Min also have a 4-year-old child who was not present during the killing. 

On August 1, 2005 at about 3:30 p.m. while she was taking care of Baby Nicole, Choi called her husband for help on baby Nicole.  Choi’s husband came home and called
9-1-1 around nine minutes later.    The baby was never revived.  The baby had a large red bruise on the front of her head, as well as, bruising on the back of her head.   She also showed injuries on her vagina and her anus.  A week before this event, Nicole’s mother noticed a bruise on Nicole.  Baby-sitter Choi attributed the injury to a fall. 

“These cases are so tragic because we have a little person who cannot walk, talk or defend herself.  Her parents thought they had left her in good hands,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.  Murphy is in the Homicide Unit and will prosecute this case. 

Choi was in court for the first time this afternoon in H-2 before the Honorable Craig E. Robison.  Her next court appearance will be on August 18, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. in Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, California.