A state appellate court panel has upheld a man’s conviction for the shooting deaths of two women and a 2 1/2-year-old boy in a Miracle Mile-area apartment complex more than 14 years ago.

Citing “the highly incriminating evidence of guilt,” the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal Wednesday rejected the defense’s contention that there were numerous errors in the Los Angeles Superior Court trial of Robin Kyu Cho.

He was convicted in July 2012 of first-degree murder for the May 5, 2003, shooting death of 30-year-old Chi Hyon Song and of second-degree murder for the killings of her son, Nathan, and the toddler’s 56-year-old nanny, Eun Sik Min.

There was speculation the killings were during a “robbery gone bad.”

The prosecution had sought the death penalty for Cho, but jurors recommended instead that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. A judge imposed the life term in September 2014.

Byung Song, who lost his wife and the younger of their two sons, told the judge that he did not see “any sort of remorse” from Cho, who lived in the same complex as the Song family.

Through tears, Song said Cho had sent something to authorities to “confuse the investigation and I, the husband, became the prime suspect in this case and had to endure the life of a prime suspect in this case.”

“The sophistication that he showed in putting the spotlight on me was really difficult and I was emotionally traumatized by it. And even … when the trial had ended, he asked for a new trial,” Song said through a Korean interpreter, adding that he was thankful to those who had brought Cho to justice.

Deputy District Attorney Frank Santoro told jurors that the killings were “sophisticated and deliberate,” while the defense maintained that Cho was innocent.

Song’s mother testified in 2012 that she discovered the victims and that the gruesome image of the crime scene still troubled her.

Song was found dead on the bathroom floor, her face and hands bound with a strong packing tape, and her nearly 3-year-old son and the nanny were found dead in the bathtub.

Cho was arrested in March 2009 when the results of DNA testing on the fingertips of latex gloves that stuck to tape used on Chi Song’s face were compared to his DNA profile. His DNA was taken after he pleaded guilty in June 2008 to one count each of selling unregistered securities and grand theft and was sentenced to five years probation.

Jurors did not hear about that conviction because it occurred after the killings.

Outside court after Cho’s sentencing, Santoro said there was a “huge financial motive” for the killings, noting that what authorities alleged was Cho’s Ponzi scheme “was collapsing right when his world was collapsing” and that he parked right next to the couple’s BMWs. The prosecutor speculated that Cho may have been interrupted in “a robbery gone bad.”

–City News Service

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