A bizarre attempted murder case involving twin sisters who were co-valedictorians of their high school class in Campo is back in the spotlight, two decades later.
Prosecutors have appealed to Gov. Jerry Brown to deny parole to Jeen “Gina” Han, convicted of conspiring to try to kill her twin sister Sunny Han in Irvine more than 20 years ago, officials said Monday.
A letter was sent last Monday to Brown outlining the Orange County District Attorney’s Office‘s opposition to parole.
Han “manipulated two younger males (one a minor at the time) to assist in her crimes,” Deputy District Attorney Nikki Chambers wrote in the letter.
“Up until the day before the offense, Gina Han repeatedly attempted to recruit different accomplices to participate in her elaborate scheme to get revenge on Sunny Han for pressing criminal charges against her,” Chambers wrote.
Although the South Korean-born twins attained high honors together in San Diego County, in the years that followed they became estranged. Gina believed Sunny had some of her belongings and wouldn’t return them, so a murder plot was planned, prosecutors said.
The plot came apart on Nov. 6, 1996, when Sunny Han managed to call 911 while her roommate was being attacked and police broke it up, Chambers wrote.
Co-defendants Archie Bryant and John Sayarath masqueraded as magazine salesmen before forcing their way into the apartment of Sunny Han and her roommate Helen Kim, Chambers said.
The pair first confronted Kim, but Sunny Han heard the ruckus and was able to call police before the two men also held her captive, Chambers wrote.
Gina Han earlier that year had gotten in trouble for stealing from her aunt, uncle and twin sister, Chambers wrote. Gina Han resented that her sister helped with the prosecution, the prosecutor said.
Dr. Brianna Satterhthwaite, a psychologist, diagnosed Han before her parole hearing in October with borderline personality disorder with antisocial traits, Chambers said.
Prosecutors contend Han has not gotten any of the specialized therapy or medication needed to treat the disorder
The psychologist noted the inmate has had a “relatively positive disciplinary history,” Chambers wrote. The psychologist, however, said the inmate is a “low risk for violence” and that she was 22 1/2 years old at the time of the plot.
At her parole hearing, Han “at first blush appeared to have attempted introspection. However she is very intelligent and still manipulative,” Chambers wrote.
Han submitted letters to the parole board from men from across the country and even out of the country she struck up pen-pal relationships with, Chambers said.
“In just writing letters to them, she `facilitated’ them in offering her money, lodging, jobs, and with regard to a gentleman in England, even giving her $100,000 after only corresponding with her for 12 months,” Chambers wrote.
“The fact remains that she is still flexing the manipulation muscles that she used when she recruited two young men to murder her sister, and they appear to be as keen as they were in 1996.”
There was no immediate response from Brown’s office to a request for comment.
–City News Service, staff
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