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Ex-Gimpo speaker kills wife with golf club

May 18,2019
Yoo Seung-hyun, the former speaker of the Gimpo, Gyeonggi, metropolitan council, admitted to beating his wife to death with a golf club at their home on Wednesday.

Yoo, 55, told police that he drank at least two bottles of soju with his wife from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at their home in Gimpo on Wednesday.

After they got in a heated argument, he began physically abusing his wife, punching her and beating her with a golf club.

“I hit her in the kitchen and then she moved into the bedroom, but I didn’t hear her move after that,” he told the police. “We didn’t get along because of some major personality differences and other issues.

“I didn’t think that she could die from it,” he told the police. Yoo reported his wife’s death to authorities on Wednesday, dialing 119 and saying, “My wife is not breathing.”

Authorities entered Yoo’s home in Gimpo and found Yoo’s wife dead in the bedroom, with several bruises on her legs, arms and face and head. They found a bloodied golf club and three empty soju bottles, one of them broken. Yoo was arrested on the site.

A local court issued a detention warrant for Yoo on Friday on a manslaughter charge, citing flight risks. He is now in police detention.

The police submitted the body of Yoo’s wife to the National Forensic Service to determine the exact cause of death. Depending on the autopsy result and questioning, they may charge Yoo with murder.

“Based on what we saw, Yoo’s wife was hit in many parts of her body,” a police officer told the JoongAng Ilbo. “Yoo also testified that he hit his wife with the golf club, so we suspect that he hit her knowing she could die from it. “We will make a final decision on his charge after the autopsy results are out,” said the officer.

Yoo was elected to the Gimpo metropolitan council in 2002 and served as the speaker of the council from 2012 to 2014.

A few years ago, Yoo wrote online about his thoughts on physical abuse.

“There is no justification for physical abuse,” he wrote on his blog website in January 2015 about a case of child abuse by a day care center employee in Incheon.

BY JEON ICK-JIN, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]