A Wilmette man terrorized a Barrington Hills couple and their adult son and held them at gunpoint during a home invasion nearly five years ago, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday as the trial of 28-year-old Kuhn Kim began.
Kim is accused of entering the couple's home the morning of Dec. 5, 2008, pointing a gun at the woman, demanding $2,000, and striking her in the head with the gun, Assistant State's Attorney Mike Clarke said during opening statements before Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon at the Rolling Meadows courthouse. Kim's defense attorneys reserved their opening statements until after prosecutors finish their case.
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Kim also faces charges of armed robbery and battery, among others, after prosecutors say he took a laptop, a pocket knife and a Jaguar.
The woman, Kyoko Ogino, 64, testified she was home alone vacuuming the foyer when she sensed the presence of someone else. She turned and saw a stranger dressed in jeans and socks, with dark glasses and a scarf over his face, pointing a gun at her.
"He said, 'I need $2,000,'" she said. "He said if I listened to him he wouldn't kill me."
She said he dumped the contents of her purse on the floor, smashed her cellphone, took a credit card and asked for the name of her bank and her pin number. After she gave him the number, he called her a liar and struck her several times in her head, causing it to bleed, she said.
Ogino said she told Kim she would get him $2,000 but would have to go into her bank to do so. She testified that he told her to clean her injury and change her bloody clothes, which she did. Afterward, he ordered her into the master bedroom's walk-in closet and used one of her husband's neckties to bind her hands.
About that time, Ogino's husband, Toshio Ogino, returned from a business meeting accompanied by their son. Toshio Ogino testified that he noticed the house in disarray and began calling his wife. Kyoko Ogino said Kim stood behind the closet door until her husband entered, then stepped out and confronted him with the gun. Their son entered the room, and Kim ordered the men to hand over their wallets and cellphones, which he smashed, Toshio Ogino testified. Kim ordered all three family members into the closet and barricaded it, saying, "I'm not scared to kill people," the couple said.
Prosecutors say the son escaped through a window and alerted police, who tracked Kim down through the license plate and registration of his car, a 2004 Scion police had noticed earlier parked in a nearby church lot. After learning of the home invasion, officers located the Ogino family's Jaguar in the same lot. The Scion was gone.
Kim's mother sat with her head bowed, crying quietly during the testimony. Seated between defense attorneys Rick Beuke and George Grzeca, Kim mumbled words and phrases -- "platinum blond," "blue eyes," "New Trier," "PlayStation," "math genius" -- that did not appear to be directed to anyone.
Before testimony began, Clarke told the court Kim rejected a deal that would have sent him to prison for 16 years in exchange for his guilty plea to aggravated kidnapping. If convicted of the most serious charges, including a firearm violation, Kim faces between 21 and 45 years in prison.