Judge denies Song's motion to reduce sentence - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judge denies Song's motion to reduce sentence

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Jimmy Chin Song was back in court today asking for a reduction in his sentence. The defense argues that the judge's sentence was too harsh but the victim's family and the government opposed anything less than what the court already ordered.

 Jimmy Chin Song has spent the last year and nine months behind bars. Song was convicted of manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of Yun Mo Ku and received a twelve-year sentence but five years were suspended. Song struck Ku while outside the Sing-A-Song Karoaoke Lounge in Harmon.

Defense attorney Randy Cunliffe argued this morning that his client would not be eligible for parole during his seven year prison term as the law requires that the full sentence be served before an inmate can be eligible for parole which can be requested after 85% of the sentence has been served.

Cunliffe said it was never his client's intention to seriously hurt Ku, saying the assault outside the club was a "reckless crime". Song addressed the court and Ku's mother, in his native tongue, saying he had regret and sorrow for what happened.

Assistant Attorney General David Rivera, however, opposed any reduction in the sentence saying the defense failed to show any evidence that the sentence was unduly harsh. In fact, Rivera says the court showed leniency by suspending five years of Song's sentence.  The prosecutor went on to say the Ku family has suffered a loss they will endure forever and reducing the sentence would trivialize Song's punishment.

Young Sook Ku took the stand testifying against the reduced sentence, saying her son will not come back and her family has suffered and lost their happiness since his death.

Judge Vern Perez stood by his previous decision and denied Song's motion as he believes the sentence was not unduly severe and the defense provided nothing to convince the court that it had erred at sentencing.

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