Man gets life without parole in Miracle Mile triple homicide
A Los Angeles jury on Friday spared the life of a former neighbor convicted of killing a 2-year-old boy, his mother and his nanny, finding that he should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2003 murders.
The panel deliberated less than a day before deciding against the death penalty for Robin Kyu Cho, 53, who was convicted last week of three counts of murder for fatally shooting the three people in the family’s Miracle Mile area apartment. The gruesomeness of the murders, in which the 30-year-old mother was bound and gagged with packaging tape and a toddler was shot, shocked Los Angeles’ large Korean community.
Cho, who lived three floors below the victims, was arrested six years after the murders when his DNA was matched to genetic material found at the scene.
During the penalty phase trial this week, Cho’s attorney focused on the issue of “lingering doubt.” Even though jurors had found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, attorney Andrew Flier contended, there were questions that remained unanswered -- including why Cho, an insurance salesman and a married father of two, would commit the murders.
“The case just doesn’t make sense; the issue of motive just isn’t there,” Flier told jurors in arguments Thursday. Other than the crime itself, he contended, “you didn’t hear one negative thing about Mr. Cho.”
Deputy Dist. Atty. Frank Santoro emphasized to jurors the brutality of the crime, calling the murders “sophisticated and deliberate.” He also pointed to evidence that after an initial police interview, Cho went to a clothing store parking lot and threw away .38-caliber bullets, which he contended showed “consciousness of guilt.”
“Show him the same mercy as he showed that child, which is none,” Santoro said.
Cho was ordered back to court for sentencing Sept. 7.
-- Victoria Kim
Photo: Robin Kyu Cho sits in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom in June on trial for a triple homicide. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times