Man sentenced in murder case

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man convicted of killing a rival karaoke performer was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison.

Ho Sik Kwon was sentenced to serve 11 years for the death of Chang Do Woo and one year for driving while intoxicated when he fatally pinned Woo to a building on Halloween night three years ago.

In 1999, an Anchorage jury convicted Kwon of second-degree murder in the death of Woo, 32. Kwon was charged with deliberately running down Woo with his car in a restaurant parking lot. Witnesses said the two had a quarrel that night over who would sing first.

Kwon's sentencing was delayed last year after his lawyer said a language barrier might have compromised his conviction.

Attorney Rex Butler said at the time it was wrong for the court to use a single interpreter during Kwon's trial for both prosecution and defense questioning. Butler said Kwon should be given a new trial.

Kwon's original attorney, Jim Gilmore, agreed to the single interpreter, but Butler said the court should not have allowed it. Kwon and several of the witnesses who testified at the trial spoke Korean as their first language.



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