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THE REGION | IN BRIEF / ORANGE COUNTY

Cabbie Convicted in Death Pact Gone Awry

October 31, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

A jury convicted a former taxicab driver Wednesday of voluntary manslaughter for shooting another cabbie to death after what authorities say began as a murder-suicide pact.

Chae Jung Han, 56, faces up to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 31.

Han, 56, David Keum Yung Ji, 55, and Hyang Baek, 55, all cabdrivers from Garden Grove, drove around Orange County in Ji's cab on April 26, 2000. They were drinking soju, similar to vodka, discussing their financial troubles and contemplating suicide, a prosecutor said.

Han parked at the Newport Beach Pier parking lot, where they had planned to carry out their pact, prosecutors said. He shot Baek in the head with Baek's .38-caliber revolver. Then Ji, who apparently had changed his mind about dying, struggled for the gun and handed it to police when they arrived.

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