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Accused model murderer pleads not guilty

July 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Thousand Oaks woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges she killed a 21-year-old aspiring model.Kelly Soo Park, 44, is accused of killing Juliana Redding in a murder-for-hire plot.

Prosecutors said Park was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to commit the crime, which is why they fear Park may now be a flight risk.

Prosecutors continued their fight to keep her in the country by raising her bail from $1 million to $5 million.

"Then we at least have some solace knowing that we've got the appropriate bail in the system to establish her reapparance and to make sure she's not going to flee," prosecutor Alan Jackson said.

Park appeared distraught and emotional as she pleaded not guilty to murder.

Redding had moved to Los Angeles from Arizona to become famous. But in March of 2008, her body was found dead inside her Santa Monica condo.

Prosecutors believe Park was hired by her employer to kill Redding.

Authorities said Marina Del Rey doctor Munir Uwaydah was in a failing business deal with Redding's father.

They said he paid Park $250,000 three weeks before the murder and another $113,000 only days before her arrest on June 18.

"How can you not be suspicious if you see hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred from one account to another at the same time as someone has just been murdered," said Robin Sax, a legal commentator.

But despite those alleged payouts, Park's attorney, Kay Rackauckas, argued that her client has no money to flee.

Authorities have frozen Park's bank accounts and the accounts of her roommate, who is also a suspect in the case.

"Because all of the accounts have been frozen, as of today, those funds are no longer available to her to use to flee if she were so inclined, which she is not," Rackauckas said.

The judge will decide on increasing Park's bail on July 20.

In the meantime, Uwaydah continues to claim that he had nothing to do with Redding's death.

The doctor is allegedly travelling abroad and cannot be reached.


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