Kelly Soo Park Found Not Guilty in Santa Monica Murder of Model
Added at the bottom: D.A. Jackie Lacey responds.
Kelly Soo Park.
It was a murder that shocked the Westside:
A 21-year-old aspiring model, Juliana Redding, who once posed for Maxim magazine, was slain in her Santa Monica apartment in March of 2008.
The suspect was a woman, 47-year-old Kelly Soo Park, who was associated with a doctor, Munir Uwaydah, who had business dealings with the victim's dad:
The doctor left the county and has yet to return. Park, however, was put through the prosecutorial ringer.
Today a jury disagreed with the District Attorney's office and acquitted Park of second-degree murder. That after it acquitted her of first degree murder yesterday and asked for clarification on what, exactly, constituted the secondary charge.
Prosecutors said Park received $383,400 from the Marina Del Rey doc before and after the killing.
They alleged Park, dubbed a ninja and a female James Bond in media reports, killed the model from Tucson with her bare hands (cause of death was not revealed but , apparently, no weapon was used) after a soured business deal between the victim's dad and Park's associate, Uwaydah.
The father, also a doctor, had planned to develop a pain cream with Uwaydah but called it off after he discovered the other doc was married with children even though he was dating Redding, according to reports of early testimony in the L.A. murder trial.
Uwaydah has, through his attorney, denied having anything to do with the murder.
Prosecutors said they had DNA evidence that linked Park to the crime.
[Added at 12:53 p.m.]: L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey just released this statement on the verdict:
We believed in our case and the strength of our evidence. We fought hard and fair in the court of law to obtain justice. Although we disagree with the verdict, we respect our system of justice.