November 23, 2005 22:29
A martial court on Wednesday sentenced private Kim Dong-min to death on charges of killing eight fellow servicemen during a deadly rampage at a front-line guard post in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province in June. The judges said that it was inevitable that Kim would receive capital punishment, considering his criminal motives and behaviors after committing the crime.
The bench said in a ruling that the convict had planned the crime one week before going on the rampage and killed his superiors in order to escape from the guard post and return home. Although he had no criminal record, he is young and he committed the crime because he could not adapt to military life, Kim must be isolated from society forever, the judges said.
If Kim appeals the decision, he will stand trial the second time at the high martial court of the Defense Ministry. Private Kim was indicted for throwing hand grenades into the barracks and firing shots at 2:30 a.m. on June 19, in a melee that left eight servicemen dead and four injured. Meanwhile at the courthouse, bereaved families knocked chairs around and yelled at the court in protest at the ruling, saying the military had manipulated the case and the trial was wrapped up hastily.
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