Seoul – Arthur Patterson, a 36-year-old United States citizen, was sentenced by a South Korean court for murdering a Hongik University student, on April 1997, in a Burger King. Attorneys reported that the convicted will appeal the ruling that was stated almost 19 years after the murder.
Patterson, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, was extradited to South Korea in September last year, when the court reopened an investigation for the stabbing of Cho Jung-pil at Itaewon in 1997. By that time, the student was found dead in a Burger King restroom, after he was stabbed nine times in the neck and the chest, the autopsy said, according to the South Korean journal Korea Joongang Daily.
Edward Lee, a Korean-American who studied in Seoul and Arthur Patterson, the son of a U.S. Military contractor and a Korean woman, were both in the restaurant when Cho Jung-pil was murdered. Since the first accusations started, both have accused the other of murdering Cho.
“There was credibility in confessions by Edward Lee, while Patterson’s comments were inconsistent and contradicted evidence,” the Seoul Central District Court said in the ruling. “Although the defendant committed a cruel crime in 1997, he still has no remorse but shifted the blame on the accomplice Lee,” added the court.
In September last year, Patterson was extradited to South Korea when he did not admit the sentence and claimed his innocence, saying that Lee had committed the crime. That being said, the court remarked that Patterson was identified as the attacker since he had blood all over his hands and clothes when the murder occurred.
A previous trial had taken place in 1998, when the Korean-American Edward Lee was convicted of murder, and Arthur Patterson was sentenced to 18 months in prison, after he was convicted of possessing an illegal weapon. However, the latter received a special pardon in 1998.
Months later Edward Lee was acquitted of murder by the South Korean Supreme Court, said Korea Joongang Daily. It was declared by the court that more evidence was needed to determine if the murder had been done by just one man. The next year, Patterson came back to the United States.
Korean media reported that Patterson seemed calm when the court read the verdict. However, his defense attorney remarked that Patterson was charged in false and said that convicted man is going to appeal the ruling.
Lee Bok-su, mother of Cho, said that she had spent the past years feeling sorry for his son, since the real murderer had not been caught. Then she added that she feels much better right now, since the court sentenced Arthur Patterson to 20 years in prison.
Source: Korea Joongang Daily