MAN CHARGED WITH EXECUTION-STYLE MURDER OF CHILDHOOD FRIEND ON VACATION FROM SOUTH KOREA

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


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

For Immediate Release
Case #11NF0336





 

January 27, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

MAN CHARGED WITH EXECUTION-STYLE MURDER
OF CHILDHOOD FRIEND ON VACATION
FROM SOUTH KOREA

 

SANTA ANA – A man was charged today with murdering his childhood friend, who was on vacation visiting from South Korea, execution-style in the back of the head. Beong Kwun Cho, 51, Cerritos, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm causing death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.  The People will be requesting $1 million bail at Cho’s arraignment tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

 

Cho is accused of knowing victim Yeon Woo Lee from the time that they attended elementary school in South Korea together. Approximately seven years ago, Cho moved to California with his wife and two children.

 

In November 2010, Lee began a vacation in the United States and spent some of his time in Orange County with Cho and his family. He was traveling by himself while his wife stayed in Korea.

 

At approximately 12:00 a.m. on Jan. 25, 2011, Cho is accused of murdering Lee by shooting him execution-style one time in the back of the head. He is accused of leaving the victim’s body partially hidden by a disabled vehicle in a remote industrial area of Anaheim. Cho is accused of taking the victim’s identification, tossing it in a nearby dumpster, and then fleeing the scene and returning home to his family.  

 

At approximately 4:00 a.m. that same morning, a street sweeper discovered the victim’s body and contacted police. The Anaheim Police Department investigated the case and arrested Cho Jan. 26, 2011.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

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