A man whose two children died in a car fire has pleaded guilty to their murders and will serve the rest of his days in prison. Yun avoided the death penalty by taking the plea, and instead agreed to two consecutive life terms.
In April, 2006, Dae Kwon Yun, 61, set a Toyota Sequoia containing himself and his two children, 10-year-old Alexander and 11-year-old Ashely, on fire. Detectives said Yun placed gasoline-soaked rags around his vehicle, which was parked in downtown Lost Angeles. A witness, the LA Times reports, testified at a 2008 hearing to seeing Yun pull Ashley back into the vehicle when she tried to get out, before setting the car on fire. Yun managed to get out of the vehicle, suffering from burns on his face and legs. Witness Nelson Calderon testified that Yun called for help but didn’t let it be known that there were kids in the car.
According to testimony by Sun Ok Ma, Yun’s wife and the mother of the deceased children, Yun was abusive and threatened to kill her and burn their home. In 2004, Yun was placed on two years’ probation after pleading guilty of beating Ma. The car fire took place a week after Ma filed for divorce. Yun, a gambling addict, had also recently shut down his T-Shirt business and owed $100,000 in taxes.