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Gang member convicted of murder in Cypress cafe shooting

March 15, 2011 |  8:11 am

A gang member has been convicted of killing of a woman and attempting to murder six others in an unprovoked shooting at a crowded Cypress cafe.

A jury Monday found Stephenson Choi Kim, 31, of San Gabriel guilty of murdering 22-year-old Venus Hyun, wounding four of her friends and shooting at two others during a 2004 attack on a group of friends who were eating dinner.

Prosecutors said Kim and six other members of an Asian street gang drove to the 5th Wave Cafe with guns to confront rival gang members. After one of the victims told them he wasn’t involved in gangs anymore, Kim entered the cafe and began shooting at the table of seven, even as one of the victims tried to wrestle away the gun.

Hyun was shot in the head and died at a hospital. Four others were wounded by gunfire but survived. Kim shot at two others but missed, prosecutors said.

The Orange County district attorney’s office said it plans to seek the death penalty against Kim during the sentencing phase of the trial, which could begin as early as Wednesday.

Six other gang members face the same charges in connection with the shooting. They are Robin Kim, 28, of Cerritos; Christopher Ung, 27, of Lakewood; Wilson Sun, 28, of Lakewood; Chakris Kanchanapoomi, 27, of Long Beach; Ashil Manek Nair, 26, of Cerritos; and Glenn Lamuel Watkins, 24, of Lakewood.

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Trial set for gang member accused of killing woman at Cypress cafe

--Tony Barboza

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