Friday, June 14, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Trial Synopsis: Part II, Prosecution Witnesses 1 to 10

This is a very condensed summary of the testimony presented at trial. It does not include every single thing testified to at trial. Sprocket




Redding is an Arizona pharmacist and the father of the victim.  He was introduced to Munir Uwaydah, an othropedic surgeon through his daughter in August 2007.  He assumed that his daughter and Uwaydah were in a relationship.  Uwaydah and Redding entered contract negotiations for Redding to run one of Uwaydah’s companies, Golden State Pharmacy. Redding had toured the pharmacy as well as another adjacent business, ‘The Bubble Bakery‘ that Uwaydah indicated he also owned. 

Negotiations with Uwaydah went through until March, 2008.  It was a pharmacy, but not a typical pharmacy like Walgrens, Rite Aid, it was more a private pharmacy, for the medical practice of Uwaydah’s private patients.

Redding testifies that his daughter briefly lived at a home owned by Uwaydah, with a friend, Stephanie. Juliana was not living in that home after her birthday October 25th birthday, but before.

Redding did some research on Uwaydah. He found Uwaydah was married, had children and lied about his age.  Concerned for their daughter’s safety, the called and told her what they had found out. After Juliana returned from the disaster birthday celebration in Las Vegas, she moved out of the home that Uwaydah owned.

Redding’s business negotiations with Uwaydah cooled but started up again in November or December 2007.

When Redding started looking at what he would be doing at the pharmacy, (manufacturing a pain cream in very large volumes) he became concerned that the Pharmacy didn’t have the required licenses to manufacture in such large volumes.

If the company was in violation, his pharmacy license would be on the line. Redding passed his California exams towards the end of February 2008. It was decision time whether he would go forward with the job.

Contract negotiations broke down.  Letters were exchanged between Uwaydah’s counsel and Redding’s counsel.  (I hope to obtain copies of these documents. Sprocket.) Redding’s counsel sent a letter dated March 10th, 2008, ending the business negotiations.


Contract negotiations with Uwaydah in November. Saw Uwaydah a couple of times. They were on friendly terms.  Negotiations appeared to break down over whether or not Redding would have use of a plane Uwaydah had. Uwaydah seemed to be upset about this.

Redding had concerns about the appropriate licenses for manufacturing the pain cream. They didn’t resolve the issues.  Uwaydah being a physician, didn’t have any say in the pharmacy. Rules and regulations in California preclude Uwaydah from owning a pharmacy. Redding did not know who owned the formula for the pain cream.


After his last conversation with Uwaydah, Redding received a call from Uwaydah’s employee Melissa Hornbeck (sp?) demanding that he answer the phone. Redding never answered the call.

Uwaydah didn’t own the pharmacy per se. That would be a conflict.  However, Uwaydah, offered him the job at the pharmacy even though Uwaydah didn’t own it.


Redding barely remembers the name of his attorney at the time.

There were things Redding felt were left out of the contract. Letter from Redding’s attorney to Uwaydah’s attorney discussing that he would be willing to discuss any points in the contract that were in contention.



Friend of Juliana since 2006. Juliana’s relationship with Uwaydah lasted one to three months; she’s not sure. Met Uwaydah and some of his medical practice employees. Met Letti Lemuse (sp?), Paul Turley, who ran the medical office. Never met Marissa (sp?), or Shelly (sp?) but heard the names from Juliana.

Duncan was the last person to see Juliana when they went to dinner at Tengu. Left restaurant around 7:00 PM. Juliana had a photo shoot the next day. Testifies she never met or seen Ms. Park before. She would have remembered because she has the same name.


She met two of Dr. Uwaydah’s employees. Paul Turley and Letti.



Friend of Juliana who knew her for about 2 years. Met her at the restaurant, Primivtio. Met her March 14th, 2008.

Last time Van Holt saw Juliana, she was leaving his loft in Venice. Prior to that, he was with her at the restaurant with a number of friends. At his residence, they engaged in some light necking.  They kissed and embraced.  Van Holt believes he touched the upper part of her torso.

When he heard Juliana had been murdered, he contacted police immediately to let them know he had been with her on Friday night.  He provided a sample of his DNA when Detective Henry showed up with a subpoena.


Juliana left his loft to take Cher back to Juliana’s apartment and then returned.  There was sexual contact between him and Juliana but no intercourse.

It was usual for him to stay in on the weekends if he had an audition on Monday. Initially, his lawyer wouldn’t let him speak to the police immediately. He testified at the grand jury.  He went to the restaurant a couple times a week.


Van Holt did have an audition on Monday and he lives about a block from the restaurant.



Grew up in Tucson with Juliana. Knew her 20 years. Celebrated Juliana’s 21st birthday with her.

Crissey, Ashely & Juliana went to Las Vegas in Uwaydah’s plane to celebrate Juliana’s birthday.  She had never met Uwaydah before. Describes how Juliana was upset on the flight to Vegas.

They stayed at the Wynn Hotel. Over dinner Juliana became more upset, and was crying. Describes how Uwaydah thought she was upset about her dogs. Juliana just kept calling Uwaydah a liar. Juliana and her girlfriends decide to stay at a different hotel.  Some of the girlfriends left separately. Juliana did not have any more contact with Uwaydah after that event.  Uwaydah was calling her not stop trying to get her to talk to him. They all took commercial flights back to LA.



Friend of Juliana. Met Juliana two years ago at Santa Monica College. “She was my best friend,” Hobey testified. Knew Juliana was involved with Uwaydah but not how long. Relationship ended with Uwaydah after she knew Juliana for about a year. Juliana was uncomfortable having a relationship with him.

Juliana lived in the Centinela Ave apartment about five months.  When she looked for the apartment, she had been living in the Beverly Hills house.

She went with Juliana to the Beverly Hills house to pick up her dogs, they picked up the little dog, Gigi, and “a couple of boxes” of Juliana’s belongings from the Beverly Hills house. The last time she saw Juliana was March 12th. They went to get their nails done together.

Hobey describes the special key chain that Juliana had with her all the time. It was a Louis Vitton key chain, a gift from Uwaydah, that looked like a bag of skittles.  Hobey testified that she was supposed to see Juliana after the 12th. She provided a DNA sample. She never saw Park before. Juliana never spoke about Park.


Juliana typically locked her doors all the time. Hobey is asked about a statement she gave police, about Juliana not showering.  “She just was the type of girl that, even though she appeared to be high maintenance, she wasn’t. She would just put on some deodorant.”

Describes the “yappy hour” place they went that was for their dogs. There was a time that she and Juliana went and Uwaydah was there. At a later time, after Juliana was uncomfortable being around Uwaydah, they saw Uwaydah at the “yappy hour” location and they were surprised. Juliana thought that Uwaydah may have been (following?) her.



First responder, Santa Monica Police Dept. officer to the crime scene. He was dispatched to the scene for a welfare check on Juliana.  He took to try to contact Juliana by calling her phone. Introduces crime scene photos. Couldn’t enter apartment. Called for Officer Cap, experienced in lock picking.  The security gate was successfully picked. Entry was gained through the window in the rear wood door. Forced up the window, reached in and unlocked the door. Just the bottom lock on the rear door was locked. The deadbolt on the rear door was not locked.

Upon entry, he could smell the distinct odor of gas. He could tell the gas odor was coming from the stove. Requested the Santa Monica Fire Department.  Testifies about the other officers that were present at the scene.

Introduces crime scene photos of the apartment and evidence markers. The front door deadbolt was engaged on the front door and security door.  Other officers entered the bedroom. Introduces photos of Juliana as she was found on her bed.  Describes the injuries that he saw on Juliana. Her feet were dangling off the bed. There was a small pool of blood underneath her right foot.  He called the Redding house in Arizona and spoke to Greg Redding as to what was found.

The bottom lock to the back door, the metal door was locked. It was a type of lock that you did not have to lock from the outside.  The top lock on the back door requires to lock with a key.




Sargent with Santa Monica Police Department. Detective who responded to the crime scene. Introduces photos of the living room and other areas of the crime scene where it appeared there was evidence of a struggle and an attempt to clean up the scene.  The gold chain that was broken in two pieces, one half of the chain was located under the coffee table leg.  One table leg was twisted. The lamp in an unusual location, unplugged. The laptop computer on the sofa. The sofa cushion cover that was missing. The vase with the oil in it and oil spilled underneath the tray on the table. The lit candle.

Introduces photos of Juliana on the bed and describes her injuries and the blood pooled under her right foot on the floor.  Names the criminalists who arrived at the scene and started to collect evidence. Describes the locks on the doors and which ones were engaged. Describes the various pieces of evidence that were recovered from the scene (cell phone, computer, etc.) and that the cell phone and computer were given to Beverly Hills PD for information recovery on those items.

The Louis Vitton key chain was never located. A green robe was never located.  The removed sofa cushion cover was never located.



Neighbor or Juliana, next door, similar complex of units. There is 10 to 15 feet between her apartment and Juliana's.   Married, she was home the night of March 15th; her husband wasn't. 

Something caught her attention. She heard a scream and she looked at her cable box and the time was 9:53 PM.  It sounded like a female voice.  At 9:53 she was watching (TV) She knew the sound came from the complex to the south.  She muted the TV. She did hear at least two more screams and what sounded like some rustling of some furniture.  Some things were moved, making noise.  She believed all the screams were from the same person.

Her door was directly across from Juliana's unit. She only knew that the sounds were coming from the south.  There had been a social gathering, party on the property earlier, but at this time it was quiet.

She had hoped that it wasn’t a big deal. That's what she was thinking. The time frame, of the sounds happened over four minutes. She didn’t hear sound continuously over four minutes.  Her husband called her about four minutes after she heard the first scream.

She only spoke briefly to Detective Thompson about what time she (was to) arrive. Same with the DA.


Santa Monica Firefighter paramedic for 34 years. Responded to scene. Smelled gas when he entered the apt from the rear door.  Noticed that a knob on the stove was in the on position. He turned the knob to the off position.

Explains his knowledge of sparks and ignitions. If the amount of gas in a space is between 4 and 15 percent, that is in the explosive range. If the gas percentage was in that range, a lit candle would cause an explosion.  Any spark would do.  A phone being picked up, etc. He did not enter any other rooms. Once the gas was turned off, he and his partner left.

Explains the ventilation. Gas is lighter than air. It collects in the corners, attic spaces or up in the roof. So it tends to rise. It will beat down until it finds an ignition. Usually it's light switches. Anything could spark it.

The stove knob was significantly on. When there is a gas leak, you will have one of three things: a stove, a water heater, or kitchen appliance.  In the kitchen it was obvious to him that one of the knobs on the stove was not in alignment with the others.  The knob was more than half way on. An ignition source lower to the ground, potentially might mean that the apartment would be less likely to ignite. No tests were performed on the stove. It was a standard stove; no reason to test it.  There was no evidence that anyone put tape down to improve the seal on the door.

His DNA was not collected. Did not evacuate the neighborhood after he opened the door and windows.

If gas came down far enough, a lit candle would cause an explosion.


Former Santa Monica PD forensic specialist.  Called to crime scene. She was in charge of processing evidence and photography. Gives her CV. She collected latent prints and photographs.  She created drawings of the interior rooms of the apartment.  Described her procedure for dusting and collecting latent prints.  Collected a latent print from the underside of an orange plate in the kitchen sink.  She would keep all the latent cards together until they could be transported back to the office.

Back at the office, she developed a case file for the collected prints and stored them.  The prints would then be scanned into the computer. There was no set time frame to enter prints. Since this was a homicide, they would have been entered quickly (into the computer). Doesn't know when print was entered into the computer system.

Because of this and another high profile case, her employers tried to terminate her.

There were several cases secured in her locker. She went on vacation. When she came back, her locker was completely empty and they tried to terminate her. Does not know if the print collected from the plate was entered into the system before she went on vacation or after.

She would collect the latent prints cards in the pocket of her uniform jacket.  Not required to put them in an envelope. She processed 100 cards that day. When she had collected a number of cards, they would be placed close to her fingerprinting kit for transport back to the office. The specialists are in charge of their own evidence items so she probably transported the fingerprints she collected back to the office.  She believes she locked the fingerprint card in her own locker so she could work on them the next day.  The items are not separated in individual envelopes. That's not necessary.  While the item(s) are in her locker they would not be handled at all. They would be taken out of the locker to be worked on.

Describes what a fingerprint is. Some surfaces take fingerprints better than others. You can develop fingerprints on paper, but it’s a different process. You can’t put a time frame on fingerprints.  Weather affects (them). She can’t say how long they last, because it depends on circumstances.

Didn't put the prints she collected in separate envelopes because the print is covered by tape. Once on the card, it can't be disturbed. After processed, once on the card, gloves are not necessary.  The plate was very smooth and very shiny. She didn't know if it was porcelain.

She explains that a usable print has a number of identifiable ridges.

To be continued in Part II, Prosecution Witnesses 11-18...


Anonymous said...

Santa Monica PD tried to fire Leslie Funo because of her job performance re: the fingerprint on the plate found in Juliana's sink? That's very significant. Had I been a juror, I would have argued that her testimony must be ignored.

Sprocket said...

I'm sorry. It's not in my notes, but I specifically remember that Funo testified that she was reinstated to her job, and then she retired from SMPD.

If that was the case, --that there was some sort of problem related to her work on the case-- the defense would have been all over that. Nothing came out in testimony to indicate that.

From other testimony, it was revealed that the fingerprint card was entered into the computer system on March 17th. So, the fingerprint was entered into the system in a timely manner.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the comment re: John Gilmore on June 12th post.

The prosecution argued, and the judge agreed, that John Gilmore had a "solid alibi" on the night of the murder. I believe this was judicial error that almost certainly would have been reversed on appeal for two reasons:

1. The Defendant's right to present evidence of 3rd party culpability is a constitutional right that requires a very high standard to usurp.

2. Gilmore's alibi is based on flimsy and incomplete evidence. He was seen on video at Alberston's early in the night well before the murder, and at Jack in the Box later at night after the murder, and at his Surf shop in the wee hours of the morning. All of these locations were within a few miles or less of Juliana's apartment.
Moreover, he claims that the rest of the time he was at a party, and he had "witnesses" to vouch. Of course his friends would cover for him. Plus, they all admit to drinking and using marijuana throughout the party, so their memory and sense of time is not reliable. Logically, how can everyone at a party keep track of where someone is when parties typically involving mingling and moving around. That is not sound alibi evidence to me.

Let us also not forget that Gilmore told the police that he left the party after midnight, yet he sent Juliana a text at 10pm saying the party "sucks" and that he was leaving. When Juliana was found the next day, the police report said there was a "fresh" (because the paint was still peeled) FU-K YOU! scratched into Gilmore's truck.

I'm not saying he's the murderer, but it certainly doesn't sound like a firm alibi.

Sprocket said...

Anon @2:50 PM

I'm helping Mr. Sprocket today on a job site, but I do have a tiny bit of time to fire up my laptop now and then.

Just musing here. Why would John Gilmore's witnesses lie for him in a murder investigation?

IF those specific arguments you state were presented to Judge Kennedy, she still ruled that the defense did not create a nexus between Gilmore and the murder.

Judge Kennedy stated that the defense was unable to show that Gilmore expressed physical violence towards Juliana.

That's basically, the same argument the defense presented to the jury about Park in their opening statement, and in this argument in their closing:

"Even though Ms. Park may have had three inches and 40 pounds on Miss Redding, I submit to you that that’s not enough to account for the brutality here, nor do you know anything about Kelly park that would suggest that she has the level of really brutal evil intent that the murderer here had."

Anonymous said...

John Gilmore, and his friends, are drug users, many of whom have criminal histories, including Gilmore. They were drinking and using drugs at the party; I am fairly sure most of them don't have a problem saying that they never noticed him missing from the party. People cover for their friends all the time, yes, even in a murder investigation (mind, they were never asked under oath either). Maybe they are telling the truth; the point is that it is not as "solid" of an alibi as the prosecution alleged.

I, and many others in the legal community, believe the judge was in error. It seems ludicrous to exclude evidence of violence directed at Juliana's wall and balcony, just because it wasn't directed at her person. Wouldn't that be true of all first-time assaults? Just because it didn't happen in the past (to our knowledge), doesn't mean this wasn't the first time.

Unlike KSP, Gilmore has shown evil intent and physical violence. There is a greater nexus between punching your gf's walls and strangling her than there is between KSP going to someone's door verbally demanding payment of a debt and strangling them.

Don't confuse my arguments as saying that Gilmore committed the murder. I am simply arguing that the Judge Kennedy was in error and that evidence should have been admitted. Judge's decisions are revealed on appeal more frequently than you may think.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 6:16 PM

You said: "John Gilmore, and his friends, are drug users, many of whom have criminal histories, including Gilmore. They were drinking and using drugs at the party; I am fairly sure most of them don't have a problem saying that they never noticed him missing from the party."

How do you know this is true? Did you worked on the case? Unless you've interviewed John Gilmore's friends yourself, how can you be "fairly sure" of what you are saying?

Anonymous said...

Also curious.... If the person asking about Gilmore thinks he may have committed this crime.... Why was KSP all over the place?

Gilmore's texting is eerily right with the timing that the neighbor heard the screams...

He hasn't texted her in 7 hours... Now all of the sudden a bunch of texts come through continue to come through that seem to be a lot of mistyping (aka he is possibly drunk)...

Maybe she lets him in at 9:50.... He kills her and begins texting her to cover himself.... But he continues expressing his pain "Look at what you just did" "You ruined it all"

In this time period what could she have done to ruin anything....

Maybe he starts to realize what he just did.... Brutally murder her... So he pretends this sucks gonna go home... Never came by?

Obviously everything I am stating is completely speculation... But the timing is just a little weird...

Still don't get KSP being all over the crime scene.

If KSP didn't do it, she should have testified what did happen so that maybe the DA could prosecute the real killer if it's not her.

Also not sure where I read this that John Gilmore called Juliana's Mom freaking out, and that led to the welfare check.

At this point, wouldn't someone need to confess to this crime... Or for the keychain, couch cover, or robe be found...

Justice for Juliana. Never forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reason to consider Mrs. Uwaydah or their children?

Sprocket said...

I will get confirmation of the following today:

It's my understanding that children of Uwaydah that are in the US are toddlers.

It's my understanding that a "Mrs. Uwaydah" doesn't live in the US.

What motive would the mother of Uwaydah's children have, or Mrs. Uwaydah who is outside the US? By the time Juliana was killed, she had stopped seeing Uwaydah for five months.

Anonymous said...

From the Defense closing: "...nor do you know anything about Kelly Park that would suggest she has the level of really brutal evil intent..."

It's too bad that the jury did not know anything that suggested that. I wish they would have heard about prior acts of Kelly Park, that in fact DO directly show that she had such intent. There's no other way to interpret her work for Uwaydah, and on Uwaydah's orders: She went to people's houses and intimidated and threatened them, when he told her to do so.

Even without this though, the DNA evidence is impossible to argue away in a reasonable manner. Transfer DNA theory does not explain why Park's DNA was all over key locations of the crime scene, including the victim's neck. Random transfer does not explain that. Plus there would be a mixture of other DNA.

It's not reasonable to think the transfer magically happened on just those key areas -- victim's neck, top, plate, etc.

As for the Gilmore diversion, it's notable that he didn't ever direct any physical violence at Juliana's person. He never hit Juliana, and he never was physically violent with her. A lot of people that age do party, and get rowdy. That behavior may not be typical for us, or the jurors, but it is typical for some people. None of that behavior flags people as potential murderers.

I think it's a terrible shame that the two jurors who did think Park is guilty, couldn't hold out against the others. A hung jury outcome is far better than letting Juliana's killer go free. Far, far better.