Pinkberry co-founder found guilty in 2011 beating of transient


There was no visible reaction from Lee when the jury convicted him. The jury also found the allegation of great bodily injury to be true.

Lee was accused of brutally assaulting a homeless man on June 15, 2011, near the Vermont Avenue off-ramp of the 101 Freeway. He was allegedly approached by the victim asking for money. Words were exchanged, and Lee and another man in a rented SUV chased the transient and then beat him with a tire iron.

The jury did not buy Lee's claim that the transient threatened him as if he had a weapon.

"We believe the jury's verdict was the correct one based on all the evidence. It was pretty overwhelming from the beginning, and as there was more investigation involved in the case, it became very overwhelming against the defendant," said Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis.

Prosecutors say it was a sexually explicit tattoo on the transient that triggered Lee to get out of his vehicle and go after the victim. Lee viewed the tattoo as a sign of disrespect.

Even after the homeless man followed Lee's demands to kneel and apologize, Lee beat him anyway, leaving the man with numerous injuries.

"There is a sense of why this happened, and I think the ultimate sense is a sense of entitlement that was felt by the defendant to the point where when he felt disrespected by someone he believed to be below him, he reacted," Zoumberakis said.

Lee was taken into custody pending sentencing. He faces up to seven years in state prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 14, 2014.

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