Appeals court upholds life term for man for killing family members

Mark Hasburg, Oct. 18, 2018, 9:19 a.m.

The Seoul High Court on Thursday upheld a 35-year-old man's life sentence for killing three members of his family last year.

The appeals court also maintained the sentence of eight years in prison for his 32-year-old wife for assisting the murder.

Kim Sung-gwan killed his mother and 14-year-old half-brother in the city of Yongin, south of Seoul, on Oct. 23 and his stepfather later in the day in Pyeongchang in northeastern South Korea. He fled to New Zealand with his wife and two young daughters.

In November last year, Kim was arrested by New Zealand police on the charges of theft and extradited to South Korea.

The court rejected the prosecution's demand for the death penalty, saying he had admitted to the killing and showed remorse.

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