Posted: Jun 4, 2013 11:23 PM by Rebecca Taylor
Updated: Jun 4, 2013 11:23 PM
TUCSON - A woman accused of strangling an aspiring actress from Tucson was acquitted on all charges Tuesday.
A jury found Kelly Soo Park not guilty of first and second degree murder.
The victim Juliana Redding, a Salpointe Catholic High School graduate was murdered in Santa Monica in 2008.
Inside the Los Angeles courtroom Redding's friends and family screamed in disbelief as the not guilty verdicts were read.
It was a an emotional ending to this trial.
"We the jury find the defendant Kelly Soo Park not guilty of second degree murder of Juliana Redding."
Tears of relief from the defendant Park, and outrage from the Redding's loved ones.
Park, acquitted of murder is now a free woman, she was taken out a secure exit.
George Buehler is Park's defense attorney, "She's lived with this for three years, this horrible charge against her. To hear the words not guilty, she was very relieved and she held my hand the entire time."
Prosecutors alleged Park strangled Redding with her bare hands, they say a doctor who dated Redding, gave park a six-figure payment to intimidate and threaten her after a business deal with Redding's father turned sour.
Redding's ex-boyfriend was never charged in the case.
Defense lawyers maintained Park wasn't even there when Redding was killed, despite DNA evidence found in her apartment.
"The DNA tells you somebody's cells are in a place, it doesn't tell you who put it there," said defense attorney Mark Kassabian.
It's the first high profile defeat for LA district attorney Jackie Lacey.
In a statement she says, "We believed in our case and the strength of our evidence. We fought hard and fair in the court of law to obtain justice. Although we disagree with the verdict, we respect our system of justice."
Redding moved to Southern California from Tucson to pursue a modeling career. She was featured in an issue of Maxim Magazine and had a small role a 2005 film.
Defense lawyers accept their client's win with mixed emotions.
"I can't say that there's anything to be happy about in a homicide case, our client didn't do it," said Kassabian.
We reached out to Redding's parents who still live in Tucson, we have not heard back.
A neighbor describes Redding as a sweetheart who baby sat his kids, understandably he didn't want to appear on camera.
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