Judge warns attorneys in Santa Monica model slaying case not to leak information to media
The judge in the case of a woman accused of murdering an aspiring model in 2008 warned attorneys on both sides Monday to avoid leaking information to the news media.
Last week, The Times obtained a bail motion stating that defendant Kelly Soo Park received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from a physician who was in a foundering business deal with the victim’s father.
“I don’t know how that got printed in the L.A. Times,” said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz. “Unless there’s an invisible person … somebody gave it to them.”
The information in the motion, which had not yet been ruled on by the judge, offered a strange twist in a case that was already drawing considerable attention.
The killing of Juliana Redding sent shock waves through her upscale Santa Monica neighborhood in 2008. The 21-year-old Arizona native, who had moved to the area as an aspiring model and actress, was found dead in her condo showing signs of physical assault.
Park’s employer, Marina del Rey doctor Munir Uwaydah, gave Park $250,000 three weeks before the killing, according to the bail motion. That alleged payment and others prompted a request by prosecutors to increase bail from $1 million to $5 million. The judge Monday morning delayed that request until next week.
Defense and prosecution attorneys declined to comment, citing the judge’s statements on sharing information with the media. Multiple attempts to reach Redding’s father, Greg Redding, have been unsuccessful.
Uwaydah's attorney, Henry Fenton, said his client had nothing to do with the slaying and was out of the country at the time as well as when Park was arrested.
The Times requested a copy of the prosecution’s bail motion Friday, but the judge denied the request.
Jack Lerner, a law professor at USC who specializes in media law, said motions for bail generally are considered public record once they are filed.
"It would have to be a pretty compelling reason for it not to be public," Lerner said.
-- Robert Faturechi