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Two Bayside men found guilty of Flushing karaoke murder

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A jury has convicted two Flushing men and two Bayside men of gang assault for attacking two men after an argument at a Flushing karaoke bar in October 2006, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.

One of the men, 21-year-old Il Park of 155th Street, was also convicted of first-degree manslaughter resulting from the death of Junghwa Lee, a 25-year-old man who never regained consciousness after the brutal beating. He faces up to 25 years in prison, the DA said.

John Bae, 21, of 158th Street, was convicted of second-degree gang assault and faces up to 15 years in prison; Aram Choi, 24, of Bell Boulevard, was convicted of first- and second-degree gang assault and faces up to 25 years in prison; and Christopher Baez, 21, of 208th Street, was convicted of first- and second-degree gang assault and faces up to 25 years in prison, according to Brown.

The four men were found guilty June 15 following a five-week jury trial in the courtroom of Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise.

The four men, along with about 10 other individuals who police never apprehended, beat Lee and another man with pipes, bats, hammers and fists, leaving them both unconscious and eventually causing the death of Lee several hours later at Flushing Hospital, Brown said. The two victims were attacked after they tried to break up a dispute between the defendants and another individual inside Pastel Karaoke, at 157-16 Northern Blvd., at about 4 a.m. Oct. 8, 2006, according to the DA.

A member of the defendants’ group got into an argument with a friend of the victims as they left the bar, and the victims were attacked when they attempted to stop the argument from escalating, Brown said.

“The defendants in this case showed no mercy toward their victims, beating them with pipes, bats, hammers and fists and leaving them unconscious,” Brown said in a statement. “One of the men, who was just 25 years old, died of his injuries. The verdicts justly hold the defendants accountable for their actions.”

Sentencing for the four  defendants is scheduled for July 28.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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