The way police told it, 76-year-old Chung Kim simply exploded. The couple who lived upstairs with their five children dumped dog poop on the back porch of his Abrams Road condo, so he pulled out a handgun and murdered them in cold blood.
In a series of jailhouse interviews, Kim gave a different version of events. He admitted to shooting the man, 31-year-old Jamie Stafford, but said that it was self-defense. Stafford had charged him with the gun, which Kim had managed to wrestle from his grasp. He maintained that he didn't shoot the woman.
Prosecutors didn't buy it. Leaving aside the question of how an ailing septuagenarian could physically overpower a healthy man 40 years his junior (Kim told Fox 4 it was martial arts: "Twist arm and take away gun"), the evidence simply didn't seem to support that version of events.
Plus, prosecutors say Kim had made something of a habit of threatening to kill his neighbors. In a list of extraneous offenses filed Monday in Kim's capital murder case, they cite three instances in which Kim threatened to shoot people.
On New Year's Day 2006, he told a man at his condominiums that, "I will come up and shoot you." Seven months later, he was carrying a gun when he made a similar threat to a woman at the complex. And in September 2007, he was taken into protective custody after he walked into the condominium office and threatened to "kill everyone" over what court documents describe as a "dispute regarding tenant conduct." He was carrying a gun and ammunition at the time.
Kim was never charged in any of those cases, but prosecutors plan to introduce them at trial, which is set to begin next Monday.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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