Man freed of prosecution in US gets indicted in S. Korea

September 8, 2015
Lee Jin-soo

Lee Jin-soo

South Korean prosecutors in Chungju indicted a man, identified only as Lee, 22, without detention this week five years after he allegedly beat to death Lee Jin-soo, a high school student, in San Fernando Valley, California.

Lee Jin-soo, son of actor Lee Sang-hee, 55, was an international student attending First Lutheran High School when he died on Dec. 14, 2010, after a fight with Lee, a classmate who was also an international student.

Both students were 10th graders. Lee Jin-soo was 19 years old, and Lee was 17.

An argument broke out between the two in gym class over differing views on how they should refer to each other in regard to age difference.

Lee Jin-soo was struck in the head and suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, rendering him brain dead and which killed him two days later.

Lee told local police he acted in self-defense and was officially freed of prosecution in June 2012. Meanwhile, he’d gone back to Korea to attend college beginning in 2011.

Lee Jin-soo’s parents filed a lawsuit against the school and requested an investigation against Lee be restarted last year, accusing him of manslaughter.

“Parts of Korean laws are different from American law in regards to self-defense claims,” a prosecutor’s office representative said. “Lee’s actions are subject to indictment here.”

“The school wants to just talk about settlement, and [Lee] says he only hit [my son] twice and pushed him,” Lee Hye-kyung, Lee Jin-soo’s mother, told the Korea Times in a phone call Tuesday. “Our family wants to unveil the truth of how Jin-soo died through a new trial.”