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Teenagers get 20-year, life sentences in kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old girl

2017/09/22 15:44

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INCHEON, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- A teenager was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the abduction and murder of an eight-year-old girl, which stunned the nation early this year for its cruelty, a district court said Friday.

The Incheon District Court meted out the maximum sentence allowable by juvenile law for the 17-year-old defendant, identified only by her last name Kim.

The court also delivered a heavier life imprisonment for Kim's 18-year-old conspirator surnamed Park. In a rare move, the sentences were exactly the same as the ones demanded by prosecutors who asked for the maximum punishment for the deliberate and preplanned mutilation murder of a young girl.

The court also ordered them to wear a location-tracking device for 30 years.

Kim and Park have been detained and indicted on charges of colluding with each other to kidnap and kill an elementary school student and dump her body near Kim's neighborhood in Incheon, west of Seoul, in late March.

The court denied the defendants' argument that they were "mentally weak" at the time of the crime. It instead agreed with the prosecution that they were "very meticulous" in carrying out the premeditated crime.

According to the prosecution, Kim lured the girl into her place from a nearby park, telling her that she'd let her use her phone as the girl was trying to call her mom. She strangled her to death in her home and hid the body on the apartment's rooftop.

In SNS messages they sent to each other before the kidnapping, Kim reportedly told Park that she was going out "on a hunt" and Park replied by saying, "Too bad (for the little girl)."

   The case made headlines for the brutality of the murder and the young defendants' anti-social attitudes toward the crimes they committed. Kim's lawyer has insisted the defendant suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a type of autism, and multiple personality disorder, which the court refused to acknowledge.

Kim, a high school dropout, confessed to mutilating the girl's body and delivering part of it to Park, who she claimed to have met through a social networking site and instructed her to commit the murder. Park admitted to the abandonment of the dead body but not to conspiring to the murder.

This composite photo, filed Aug. 29, 2017, shows the accomplice surnamed Park (L) and kidnapper, Kim (R), in the abduction and murder of an 8-year-old in Incheon early this year. (Yonhap) This composite photo, filed Aug. 29, 2017, shows the accomplice surnamed Park (L) and kidnapper, Kim (R), in the abduction and murder of an 8-year-old in Incheon early this year. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr

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