Jury finds Flushing man guilty of killing manager

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A Flushing man who killed the manager of a Manhattan nightclub in a drunken rage after being hit with a large tab was found guilty of murder last week, the Manhattan district attorney said.

A jury found Young Min Kwak, 29, guilty of the murder of Sang Dal Choi in the Manhattan courtroom of State Supreme Court Judge Bonnie Wittner last Thursday. Choi also lived in Flushing and was 43 at the time of his death.

Kwak was also convicted of reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. He faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in Wittner’s courtroom Nov. 7.

Kwak’s night out at the President Club on East 32nd Street on July 15, 2000 turned deadly as he was getting ready to leave the karaoke club.

After a night of drinking, Kwak was handed a $980 bar bill in the club’s basement, according to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Kwak, who was carrying a loaded 9mm pistol, got angry at the waiter, according to the district attorney.

At about 4:30 a.m., Kwak then fired his gun several times at several people in front of him, hitting Choi and sending other patrons of the club running for their lives, the district attorney said.

Choi was shot in both the head and the neck, and he later died from the gunshot wounds.

Before the murder, Kwak lived in a basement studio apartment of a house at the corner of 150th Place and 32nd Avenue. Neighbors at the time of his arrest described Kwak, a computer programmer, as a young man who kept to himself.

After leaving the club in the early morning of July 15, Kwak returned to his home, quickly packed his belongings and boarded a flight to San Jose, Calif., where his sister lived at the time, authorities said.

Kwak was arrested at the San Jose airport, however. He was arraigned in New York five days after the shooting and ordered held without bail.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

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