Bryan Kim Takes The Stand At Murder Trial

SPOKANE — Nineteen-year-old Bryan Kim briefly took the stand Monday morning during the first day of his double murder trial. Kim is suspected of killing his own parents inside their Mt. Spokane home on December 5, 2006.

Monday morning the 19-year-old, who has been charged with the murders of his parents Richard and Terri Kim, took the stand to help his defense. His testimony hadn’t been expected because jury selection was supposed to begin in Spokane Superior Court but instead attorneys were fighting over what that jury should and shouldn’t hear.

And that’s when Bryan Kim weighed in on the matter. It was a bit of a surprise to see Kim take the stand so early in the trial. Dressed in a shirt and tie, he spoke clearly and concisely about what he said to the detectives immediately following the arrest.

Detectives testified that during the ride from Mt Spokane High School to the public safety building, Kim said he had been arrested many times before but had always “gotten off the charge.” Bryan Kim then took the stand to clarify his statements.

“I stated that I’d been arrested before but I’d gotten off because I’d requested a lawyer,” Kim told the court in response to a question from the prosecution.

Defense attorney John Stine was trying to suppress the statements Kim made after he was put in the back of Spokane County Sheriff Detective Mike Ricketts’ patrol car after he was arrested in December of 2006 for his parents’ murders at the family’s Mt. Spokane home.

“During that time he was talking with us and I wasn’t asking him any questions at that particular time. … he stated that he had been arrested numerous times and gotten off the charges each time,” Detective Ricketts said.

A jury might interpret Kim’s statements as arrogant or indifferent which is why Stine doesn’t want them to hear it when the trial gets underway.

“He failed to say that I stated it was because that I had requested a lawyer and not talk to the police,” Kim continued.

In that context Kim comes off as more legally savvy than criminally aloof. On the other hand, he reportedly kept talking to detectives even after he was told his parents were dead and he was the prime suspect, saying “Book me, I’m going to cry myself to sleep later” and then urging detectives “lets get this going.”

Judge Tari Eitzen has not ruled whether or not Kim’s in-custody statements will be admissible.

Prosecutors hope to show the jury the lack of emotion in his comments after his arrest is just another indication of how Bryan Kim pre-planned his parents’ murders while the defense team is trying to get the jury to see that Kim was too mentally ill at the time of the attacks to be held responsible for the killings.

Because of that prospective jurors will be quizzed about their own mental health experiences and Judge Eitzen has ordered that part of jury selection closed to the public.

Kim’s murder trial continues Tuesday.