A man who pleaded no contest to beating a woman with a hammer in Koreatown last year was insane at the time of the crime, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta made the finding after Jae Won Yang pleaded both no contest and not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with the March 10, 2017, attack, according to Paul Eakins of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Yang was charged with one count of attempted murder, along with the allegations of a hate crime, use of a hammer and infliction of great bodily injury involving the attack on the 24-year-old woman outside a business in the 1000 block of South Vermont Avenue.
A security guard witnessed the attack — which was captured on surveillance video — and intervened, and a witness helped to hold Yang until police arrived, Los Angeles Police Capt. David Kowalski said soon after the attack.
Yang, who was described as a Korean national, targeted the woman because she was female and Korean, the captain said. Police said he asked her if she was Korean and set upon her after she answered affirmatively.
Yang has remained in a Los Angeles jail since his arrest.