Duluth man gets 25 years in stabbing

Yang Hee Kim

Yang Hee Kim

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Duluth man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 2007 stabbing death of a woman he was "romantically involved" with.

Yang Hee Kim, 34, was originally charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Monday in Gwinnett County Superior Court, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter and possessing a knife while committing a crime.

Police said Kim killed his girlfriend, 28-year-old Young Mi LeMasters, on Aug. 21, 2007, after she tried to end the relationship. Kim stabbed LeMasters, who was married, three times at a North Berkeley Lake Road apartment in Duluth, reports said.

LeMasters was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, reports said, where she died about three hours after the attack.

Assistant District Attorney John Warr said there were several factors that led to the plea, including an eyewitness who was deported to Korea and another that moved to Singapore.

There was also a procedural issue originating from Kim's apprehension at a New Jersey train station.

"The defendant confessed but was not properly advised of his Miranda rights when captured in New Jersey," Warr said.

Warr added that LeMasters' widower, George LeMasters, was "agreeable with the plea and sentence."

With the sentence, Kim will be eligible for parole one day.

Prosecutors are confident, however, that he will be behind bars for a long time.

"He will serve a substantial portion of his sentence if not the entirety in prison," Warr said.

When released, Kim, who has admitted to being in the country illegally, may also face deportation.