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Soon Ja Du

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 1991 | ANDREA FORD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A videotape played Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom showed that Latasha Harlins had turned away from a scuffle with a Korean grocer when the black teen-ager was shot in the back of the head. "This is not television. This is not the movies. This is real life," Deputy District Attorney Roxane Carvajal had warned the jury. "You will see Latasha being killed. She will die in front of your eyes."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 1997 | HECTOR TOBAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Joyce A. Karlin, the judge whose light sentencing of a Korean-born grocer in the 1991 shooting of a 15-year-old black girl inflamed already simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles, said Monday that she was resigning from the bench. In a written statement, Karlin, 46, now a judge in Juvenile Dependency Court, said she was ending her seven-year judicial career to spend more time with her family.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 1991
A South Los Angeles grocer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the shooting death of a teen-age customer earlier this month. Soon Ja Du, 51, entered the plea before Compton Municipal Court Judge Morris B. Jones. Du was arrested in connection with the March 16 shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins. The shooting occurred after Du accused the teen-ager of shoplifting a bottle of orange juice. More than 150 relatives and friends of Du's attended the hearing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1992 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A day after Korean-born grocer Soon Ja Du sought court permission to revisit her native country, her attorney withdrew the request Wednesday because of a recently launched federal civil rights investigation into her fatal shooting of a black teen-ager.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 1992
Soon Ja Du, the grocer convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the Latasha Harlins shooting, will be in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning , requesting permission to travel to her native Korea. Du was placed on five years' probation for shooting Harlins, a 15-year-old black girl, in the head after a confrontation over a bottle of orange juice in March, 1991. The sentence prompted cries of outrage and inflamed tensions between the city's African-American and Korean communities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1991
A Compton Superior Court judge denied a request to change the location of the trial of Soon Ja Du, a grocer accused of murdering a 15-year-old customer in her South Los Angeles market. Earlier this month, Du was indicted by a grand jury in the slaying, which allegedly began as a dispute over a bottle of orange juice. In a rancorous demonstration outside the courthouse, activists and relatives of the slain girl, Latasha Harlins, called for a speedy trial, and for Du to be remanded into custody.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1991
The racially charged murder trial of a Korean grocer accused of shooting a black customer will be held in downtown Los Angeles, a Compton judge ruled on Monday. Superior Court Judge Lois Anderson-Smaltz, who earlier this month caused controversy with a finding that jurors and witnesses might be "intimidated" in the mostly black community of Compton, named the new site without further comment.
NEWS
November 16, 1991 | TRACY WILKINSON and FRANK CLIFFORD, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Saying it is not a time for revenge but for healing, a Superior Court judge Friday sentenced a Korean-born grocer convicted of killing a black teen-ager to five years' probation. The sentence, which included a fine, community service and suspended jail time, immediately drew angry cries of protest from friends and relatives of Latasha Harlins, the 15-year-old girl killed in a dispute over a bottle of orange juice at a grocery store owned by the family of Soon Ja Du.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 1991 | ANDREA FORD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Minutes after his wife shot Latasha Harlins, a Korean store owner told a 911 operator that the black teen-ager had reached into his cash register in an attempt to rob the business, according to a tape of the call played in court Tuesday. Billy He Du's account on the recording stands in contrast to the sequence of events shown in a videotape played Monday at the trial of his wife, who is accused of murder. In the 911 recording, Du is heard saying, "We got a holdup."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1992
Prosecutors Monday asked the state Supreme Court to review a lower court decision upholding a probationary sentence given to Korean-born grocer Soon Ja Du in the killing of Latasha Harlins. In a 30-page document, Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 2nd District Court of Appeal decision and force Superior Court Judge Joyce A. Karlin to resentence Du, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing Harlins, 15.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 1992
Soon Ja Du, the grocer convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the Latasha Harlins shooting, will be in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning , requesting permission to travel to her native Korea. Du was placed on five years' probation for shooting Harlins, a 15-year-old black girl, in the head after a confrontation over a bottle of orange juice in March, 1991. The sentence prompted cries of outrage and inflamed tensions between the city's African-American and Korean communities.
NEWS
September 19, 1992 | NANCY HILL-HOLTZMAN and FRANK CLIFFORD and TED ROHRLICH, This story was reported and written by Nancy Hill-Holtzman, Frank Clifford and Ted Rohrlich
Ira Reiner has become the first political casualty of the Los Angeles riots. First he lost two courtroom battles that helped trigger the riots--the effort to send Korean-born grocer Soon Ja Du to jail for killing a black teen-ager and, against all expectations, the effort to convict police officers in the videotaped beating of African-American motorist Rodney G. King. Then, in the wake of the riots, Reiner alienated his core constituency--Los Angeles's black community--by disqualifying the black judge who had been assigned to try the case of four young African-Americans charged in the beating of a white truck driver.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 1992 | ANDREA FORD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The younger siblings of Latasha Harlins, the teen-ager who was fatally shot last year by grocer Soon Ja Du, will split a $300,000 court settlement from Du's insurance company, but the children's father will receive nothing, a judge ruled Tuesday. The ruling closes another chapter in a case that heightened tensions among Korean-born merchants and their customers in South Los Angeles last year and which, many believe, contributed to the recent riots.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1992 | PHILIP HAGER, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The state Supreme Court, ending a divisive, racially charged legal battle, on Thursday let stand Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joyce A. Karlin's decision granting probation to a Korean-born grocer in the videotaped fatal shooting of a black teen-ager. In a brief order, the court refused to review an appellate ruling upholding the sentence issued by Karlin in November. The justices turned down an appeal by Los Angeles Dist. Atty.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 1992 | Andy Marx
From the bad-timing department comes this scene from the Eddie Murphy movie "Boomerang:" The scene in question involves two of the film's co-stars, David Alan Grier and Halle Berry. As Grier is leaving Berry's apartment after a date, he begins spouting comic goodbys in several different languages. After several moments, Berry says something in Korean and then translates the phrase for Grier's benefit: "That means I'm sorry I shot you," she says, "but I thought you were robbing the store."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1992
Prosecutors Monday asked the state Supreme Court to review a lower court decision upholding a probationary sentence given to Korean-born grocer Soon Ja Du in the killing of Latasha Harlins. In a 30-page document, Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 2nd District Court of Appeal decision and force Superior Court Judge Joyce A. Karlin to resentence Du, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing Harlins, 15.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 1992
Members of an ad hoc lawyers committee and a local bar association Tuesday voiced support for the judge who sentenced a Korean-born grocer to probation for the shooting death of a black girl. "We are here to say the recall effort against Judge Joyce Karlin, and also the recall effort against (Presiding) Judge Ricardo Torres, are ill-conceived and must stop," said Gary Barr, president of the San Fernando Valley Bar Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 1992 | PATT MORRISON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A little south and a bit east of where the fury of last week spent itself, the store where Latasha Harlins died still stands. That it is still there is not for want of trying. Four times on the night of April 29, when chances of getting a firefighter were nil, someone tried to torch the Empire Liquor Market Deli. Four times, with buckets and garbage cans full of water, black men, women and children blotted the fires out.
NEWS
May 4, 1992 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The South Korean government has dispatched a delegation to Los Angeles to seek reparations for hundreds of Korean and Korean-American store owners who suffered damage in last week's rioting, the country's Foreign Ministry announced Sunday. The government said a group headed by Assistant Foreign Minister Ho Seung would meet today with Mayor Tom Bradley and other officials to discuss compensation for Korean-owned businesses that were destroyed or crippled by the violence.
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