"We have to live. Honestly, it's hard to get a settlement."
The mother of Choi Yoon-jong (30), who indiscriminately assaulted a woman in her 30s with a knuckled fist for the purpose of sexually assaulting her to death on Dulle-gil in Sillim-dong, Seoul, has expressed her displeasure when the story of the settlement money comes out.
The bereaved families of the victims who attended the trial complained of pain, saying that it was difficult to watch the trial.
Yesterday (20th), Choi Yoon-jong's fourth trial was held in the Criminal Settlement Division 26 of the Seoul Central District Court (Judge Jung Jin-ah), and Choi's mother, Ms. A, appeared as a sentencing witness.
Sentencing witnesses are witnesses who are adopted to determine the severity of the punishment to be imposed on the defendant.
In court, Ms. A claimed that her son was a victim of school violence, saying, "My son never brought any friends with him after he went to high school, and his personality changed after he was bullied at school."
When the prosecution asked, "Did the defendant ever talk about school violence?" Mr. A said, "I didn't say anything, but I saw bruises on my son's waist and thought he had been bullied at school."
He said, "I should have lived well with psychiatric treatment, but they couldn't support me," and testified that Choi had been to the hospital 2~3 times for symptoms such as depression and panic disorder.
In response, the prosecution countered, "Looking at the health insurance benefit data, there was only one episode of depression in 2015."
Ms. A also claimed that "my son did not have a good relationship with his father" and said, "I should have raised him with love, but my husband and I grew up without love, and we committed a mortal sin against the bereaved family. Even if you have ten mouths, you have nothing to say."
However, when asked by his lawyer if he was willing to try to recover damages, he replied, "I didn't think so. We have to live."
When asked if he would like to issue an apology letter for the bereaved family if it is difficult to raise a settlement due to financial difficulties, Mr. A replied, "I don't know what you mean," and "To be honest, money is a problem."
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On the same day, when asked by the court how she felt about her mother's attendance, Choi said, "I don't think I had to come out. My mother doesn't know much about this situation."
When the presiding judge asked, "Do you still have a feeling of gratitude that your mother had the courage to come out?" Ms. Choi replied, "I don't know. I don't have anything to say."
The bereaved family, who were observing the whole situation, asked the court to limit the time for testimony and complained to the court, saying, "It is too difficult to watch the trial."
Meanwhile, on December 12, the fifth trial will be held against Ms. Choi.
(Photo = Provided by Seoul National Police Agency, Yonhap News)