A man who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the fatal beating of a U.S. Army officer at a downtown nightclub was sentenced Monday to time served.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Douglas Sortino sentenced 30-year-old Steve Hong to three years. However, Hong, who was arrested July 2, 2013 and released from jail on Jan. 28 of this year, had already served more than the equivalent of three years after considering credit for “good time, work time,” according to a court clerk.
Hong was originally charged with the murder of 24-year-old Albert Song, a West Point graduate and Honolulu-based first lieutenant recently out of Army Ranger school when he was beaten to death on June 2, 2013. Hong pleaded guilty to the lesser count of voluntary manslaughter more than a year ago.
Song was at the club with a group of friends when he was punched, knocked unconscious on the dance floor of the club and then kicked by several suspects, authorities said.
A eulogy posted on West Point’s website said Song was in Los Angeles to celebrate a friend’s wedding and was trying to break up a fight started by a friend.
Luan Thin Lam, also known as Tim, was also charged in the beating. Lam, 28, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and is set for sentencing July 1.
Last June, Song’s mother filed civil suits against the two men and the nightclub where the attack occurred.
Sook Song alleged negligence and premises liability on the part of the club, which the suit stated was “overcrowded with intoxicated patrons” and responsible for delays in getting her son emergency care. The club closed in November 2013.
–City News Service