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Korean English Teacher Extradited to the States for Murder

Apparently being rich and living in the United States isn’t easy:  According to this newspaper account in Metro:

“David Heyon Nam, an American-born child of wealthy South Korean immigrants, had flunked out of several juvenile court programs by the time he turned 19, prosecutors said. He and three juveniles were looking for an easy target to rob one hot summer night in 1996 when they spotted 75-year-old Anthony Schroeder watching TV with the door open in his North Philadelphia home, authorities said.”  When Schroeder went to the door with a handgun, David Nam shot him with a shotgun (other accounts say a rifle) through the screen door.

David was duly arrested and arraigned but his father,  Gi Nam, a vice president of a suburban Philadelphia textile company, posted $100,000 cash toward his son’s $1 million bail, and young David was released with an electronic-monitoring bracelet.  In 1998, David severed the bracelet and then he and his parents fled back to Korea where David used several aliases and moved frequently to avoid being apprehended.

“In 1999, David Nam surrendered to South Korean authorities after he was featured on a TV show there about fugitives. He was released because the U.S. had no formal extradition treaty with South Korea at the time and, by the time that changed, he had gone back into hiding.”

According to the Associated Press and others, David was teaching English in Gyeonggi province under several aliases, but he could not avoid the long-arm of the law.

David was captured near Seoul by the FBI in March this year.  “He denied being the fugitive they sought, but the tattoos ‘Nam’ and ‘Solid’ – his street name as a Philadelphia teen – and fingerprints on a beer bottle the FBI found in his trash proved otherwise, authorities said.”

When it was pointed out that David is now married and the father of several children, prosecutor Lynne Abraham expressed little sympathy.  “That’s on him,” she said.  They (David and his accomplices) were there to rob him (Anthony Schroeder) and take whatever they could.”  “Before he said word one, he (David) shot him (Schroeder) through the screen … leaving Mr. Schroeder to die on the floor,” Abraham also vowed to prosecute David’s father, if he ever returns to the United States, for aiding and abetting a fugitive.  But there are some members in David’s family who are innocent.  Abraham noted that David’s wife was probably unaware of his past. 

Fortunately for David Nam, as part of the extradition agreement, the prosecutor will not seek the death penalty, but if convicted of the first-degree murder, he will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

  • cm

    Why didn’t they extradite his dad too?

  • NewYorkTom

    I was wondering why they didnt extradite the dad too!? I’m wondering if the dad’s crimes are not part of the extradition treaty?

  • Maekchu

    The dad is to be charged with aiding and abetting a felon. It’s probably not cost effective or worth the DA’s time to pursue the father. What I wonder is if the bail company can apply to have the father’s assets seized in Korea to pay off the remainder of the bail money they skipped out on.

  • dogbertt

    Tort reform!

  • thekorean

    Distort form!

  • thekorean

    Oh, I just realized the guy’s Korean name is Heyon. 남해연? That’s very girly. No wonder the guy had issues.

  • KrZ

    I can’t believe I got extradited from the ROK for making 21.6kg of Ecstasy and they didn’t say a word in the papers ;_;

  • cm

    Are you being serious?

  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    I guess the “please understand my situation” line did not work on Ms. Lynne Abraham.

  • Baek du boy

    Good job FBI!, shame they had to let him go after first catching him

  • Bipolar Mindscrew

    Worked in Gyeonggi? Why do I have the feeling I worked with this guy? This goes to show how all teachers in Korea should undergo criminal record checks before teaching children…

  • KrZ

    Yes, I am cm. Even tried to get the famous Brendon Carr to represent me, but he wanted 10m and didn’t think my chances were good anyway. That was back in October, 2005…

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    Even tried to get the famous Brendon Carr to represent me, but he wanted 10m and didn’t think my chances were good anyway. That was back in October, 2005…

    Wouldn’t have been me exactly, since I’m not a Korean lawyer and can’t appear in court (plus I don’t think I’d be any good at it, as a second-language speaker and all). At that time, the firm I was with required at least W10 million for criminal defense, plus a success fee depending on the facts of the case. If you were manufacturing 20 kilograms of ecstasy, I guess you would have been good for it.

    At the time, we thought that it was a public good to offer criminal defense services to foreign clients, because there were few other places to get good service in English. But through contacts with foreign criminal accused, we eventually lost interest. Too much hassle, not nearly enough reward to put up with their bullshit.

  • cm

    What kinds of bullshit, I’m curious to know.

  • http://www.jdlink.co.kr Linkd

    I can even confirm that KrZ’s gravatar is a true likeness – the man is fearless, as well as lady-killer handsome. Why Mr. Carr chooses to use his real picture, though, is a mystery to all…

  • http://ghosttreemedia.com hoju_saram

    lol…bravo Linkd.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    What kinds of bullshit, I’m curious to know.

    The first thing is that criminal-defense calls all seem to come after midnight, on weekends, public holidays, and the like. That’s easy enough to deal with, though.

    The accused are mostly housed in far-away places, which means hours of schlepping over to see them.

    But mostly, the constant lying is what wore me out. Quite frequently, the would-be client, if not yet arrested, would start off calling up with a fake name seeking free advice. Then, after hiring us, the client would continue to lie, or dribble out information in a way that was deleterious to being able to properly defend the case. It got old real fast.

    Getting paid was also an enormous hassle, far more work than necessary.

    Since that practice area was a loss-maker anyway, which we did only because we felt a sense of social obligation to help the helpless, it was easy to quit. You think W10 million is expensive? Try a real Korean criminal-defense specialist — they want about W40-100 million in serious cases.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    Why Mr. Carr chooses to use his real picture, though, is a mystery to all…

    Yes, good one. Zing!

    But should we infer something about your own appearance from the fact that you use no gravatar and no image on your business website, eh, Brendan?

  • http://www.jdlink.co.kr Linkd

    You might, but I think all the folks around here that act as latin terminology-armed fallacy police might warn that absence is a less secure basis for inference than presence.

  • NES (BANNED SOCKPUPPET TROLL!!!)

    Linkd: I can even confirm that KrZ’s gravatar is a true likeness – the man is…lady-killer handsome.

    KrZ, I think Brendon might be willing to help you out in that case where Linkd spiked your drink with Rohypnol.

  • KrZ

    Don’t hate, congratulate.

  • thekorean

    I think all the folks around here that act as latin terminology-armed fallacy police might warn that absence is a less secure basis for inference than presence.

    Argumentum de absentiam nequit superare argumentum de praesentiam.

    You mean like this? :)

  • NES (BANNED SOCKPUPPET TROLL!!!)

    Yeah, but it would sound better if you change “de” to “ad.” The Missing Link might also say, “Non cogito, ergo sum

    Congratulations!

  • virtual wonderer

    i’m surprised there wasn’t an extradition treaty until recently. i feel bad for the wife of the murderer. He probably didn’t tell her his past.

  • judge judy

    At the time, we thought that it was a public good to offer criminal defense services to foreign clients, because there were few other places to get good service in English.

    sir,

    i can personally attest to the fact that there are plenty of places to get good service in english.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    i can personally attest to the fact that there are plenty of places to get good service in english.

    Oh, thank Goodness. I can sleep at night now.

    In a related vein, sounds like you’re quite the hellraiser.

  • LAKalbi

    Whatever happened to the drunk Hyundai guy who parked his car in the middle of the freeway here in LA? Is he still on the run in Korea?

  • kpmsprtd

    I’m having trouble understanding the concept of the U.S. FBI operating in the sovereign nation of Korea. This is on the hills of the U.S. DEA operating in Thailand. Is there nowhere left in the world where one is safe from The Protectors?

  • NES (BANNED SOCKPUPPET TROLL!!!)

    Run, kpmsprtd! I’ve just reported you, and the black helicopters will be upon you shortly.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    Oy vey. On the heelsHeels!

  • NES (BANNED SOCKPUPPET TROLL!!!)

    Maybe I should of [sic] said, “Run for the hills!”

  • judge judy

    In a related vein, sounds like you’re quite the hellraiser.

    sounds cryptic, but i doubt my shenanigans interest anyone at all.

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