Chung Kim might look like someone's kindly grandpa, but the 76-year-old has a helluva mean streak. His former boss knew this; when Kim was laid off from his job in 2001, he allegedly pulled a weapon. So did his neighbors, several of whom he allegedly threatened with murder over the years.
Threats are one thing; acting upon them is quite another. This afternoon, a Dallas County jury decided Kim crossed that particular line on the morning of February 4 when he gunned down his upstairs neighbors, 31-year-olds Michelle Jackson and Jamie Stafford.
The proximate cause of the murder -- and the detail the media immediately fixated on -- was dog poop. Kim had been complaining to the condo's homeowner's association for months that the couple was dumping it onto his balcony, according to testimony reported by CultureMap. In December 2012, when they had a baby -- Jackson's fifth -- they began tossing used diapers there as well.
Kim allegedly retaliated by repeatedly cutting the couple's cable line. Prosecutor Herschel Woods played a 911 call made by Jackson about two hours before her death in which she tells the operator it was"not the first time this has happened, but this is the first time we saw him do it."
So, the feud was already at a boil when the dog poop hit Kim's porch on the morning of February 4. He grabbed a Glock .45 and shot Jackson once as she stood outside her front door, the bullet severing her spinal cord.
Stafford, who escaped out the couple's back door and hopped down from the second-floor patio in an attempt to flee, was shot seven times, according to evidence presented at trial.
Kim, in several jailhouse interviews and during the trial, denied shooting his neighbors. But the evidence -- the longstanding feud, the eyewitness testimony, the gun-shot particles discovered on Kim's hands -- was too much for the jury to ignore.
Kim's capital murder conviction carries life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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