A Wilmette man whose attorney detailed a long history of mental illness pleaded guilty Tuesday to the 2008 home invasion and aggravated kidnapping of a Barrington Hills family.
Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon found 29-year-old Kuhn Kim guilty but insane, and sentenced him to 20 years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. He must complete at least 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
"(Kim) could never beat the demons he had, and he's going to have to pay for his decisions with a significant part of his life," said defense attorney Rick Beuke.
Kim's bench trial before Hanlon began last October with Kyoko Ogino of Barrington Hills describing encountering a man she identified as Kim in the foyer of her house on the morning of Dec. 5, 2008. The man pointed a gun at her, demanded $2,000 and threatened to kill her, Ogino said. After she gave him the name of her bank and her PIN, Kim struck her in the head, tied her hands and ordered her into a master bedroom closet, Ogino testified.
When Ogino's husband, Toshio, and their son Todd returned home from a business meeting, Kim ordered them to turn over their wallets and cellphones and forced them into the same closet, which he barricaded. Todd Ogino testified that he escaped through a window and alerted police, who tracked Kim down through the license plate and registration of his car.
The trial was delayed by six months as a result of a request mid-trial from Beuke and co-counsel George Grzeca for a mental health evaluation, one of several Kim has undergone, court records show.
According to Beuke, Kim suffers from schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder for which he has been hospitalized eight times. "It's an ongoing struggle," Beuke said. "It's a terrible condition to try to battle on a daily basis."
During testimony from prosecution witnesses, Kim made clicking noises and mumbled random words and phrases, which prompted a warning from Hanlon against disrupting the proceedings.
The case has been continued several times and the trial was set to resume when prosecutors and defense attorneys reached an agreement.
Hanlon gave Kuhn credit for the 905 days he has been in custody.