LOS ANGELES - The trial is about to begin in California in the 2008 murder of an aspiring actress and model from Tucson.
Prosecutors say it was a hit carried out by someone described as a “female James Bond.”
The accused murderer, 47-year-old Kelly Soo Park, remains free on $3.5 million bail.
But that freedom may be temporary as jury selection is set to begin on Monday for Park’s long-awaited trial.
She’s charged with killing model Juliana Redding in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.
Redding was 21 years old when she moved from Arizona with Hollywood dreams, landing in a spread in “Maxim” magazine and a small role in an independent movie.
Two years after beginning her modeling and acting career, Redding was found strangled and beaten to death in her Santa Monica home.
Prosecutors say Park worked for Dr. Munir Uwaydah.
Uwaydah and Redding’s father reportedly planned to start a business together, but Greg Redding pulled out of the deal just days before his daughter’s murder.
Prosecutors say Uwaydah bragged about Park, calling her a “female James Bond” he could rely on to take care of business.
Court documents say Park used threats, intimidation and bullying, acting as the doctor’s debt collector.
And court documents show that prosecutors allege Park received a $250,000 payment from Uwaydah weeks before Redding was killed, though the doctor has never been charged.
DNA evidence linked Park to the crime, according to investigators.
Defense lawyers argue the real killer is Juliana Redding’s boyfriend, John Gilmore.
But investigators cleared Gilmore as a suspect, insisting he had several alibis.
Experts say the defense will likely bring up other persons of interest as they fight for Park’s freedom.
Park will be able to leave the courtroom and walk anywhere she’d like because she’s free on bail.
Legal analysts say that could work in her favor.
They say that image is likely to create a better impression on jurors.
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