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LOS ANGELES – A 61-year-old man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the arson murders of his two children six years ago and was sentenced immediately to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Deputy District Attorneys Habib Balian and Bobby Grace of the Major Crimes Division agreed not to proceed with a capital case against the defendant in exchange for guilty pleas to all charges.
Balian said Dae Kwon Yun’s plea came after extensive review of all the evidence and relevant issues in the case and a discussion with the victims’ mother, the defendant’s estranged wife.
The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and admitted the special circumstances of arson murder and multiple murders, Balian said. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus sentenced the defendant to two consecutive life-without-parole prison terms.
Yun, who was separated from his wife, picked up his children on Sunday, April 2, 2006, for a day-long outing. After going to lunch and a movie, Yun drove his SUV to an industrial area in Los Angeles and put rags soaked in gasoline around the vehicle. His 10-year-old son, Alexander, was inside the SUV. His daughter, 11-year-old Ashley, got out but Yun pulled her back into the vehicle before using a lighter to ignite the rags.
The defendant jumped out of the vehicle. His legs were burned and he requested medical help. He allegedly told no one the children were in the burning vehicle.
He was arrested after an intensive investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery/Homicide Division. The case was filed against Yun on April 14, 2006. He has remained in custody without bail pending trial.
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