$125,000 found in car tied to suspects, court told

Same amount was taken from deli owner in killing

February 03, 2005|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

A Howard County police crime scene technician testified yesterday that $125,000 was found in a car that police say was driven by two men accused of the 2003 robbery and killing of a Jessup deli owner.

Jim Roeder told a Howard Circuit Court jury that police recovered from a gold-colored Chevrolet Malibu a tan vinyl bag containing $81,000 and a canvas bag containing $44,000 - together the exact amount of cash that was taken from Kwang Jun Kim.

Kim, 53, was returning to Jessup Plaza Deli & Convenience, which sold sandwiches and sundries and offered check-cashing services, on Oct. 8, 2003, when he was robbed of $125,000 and fatally shot in the head.

One of the men accused in Kim's killing, Walter J. Blannon, 39, of Baltimore, faced his third day of prosecution on first-degree murder and related charges yesterday in the trial that is expected to last through the week.

Roeder said a .357-caliber revolver that had two fired rounds was also found in the car that police say was driven by Blannon, of the 1600 block of N. Calvert St.

Roxy Ausby, a clerk at the BB&T Elkridge branch, testified that Kim withdrew $125,000 in cash from the bank the morning of Oct. 8. When Assistant Public Defender Janette DeBoissiere asked why Kim did not use an armored car to transport the large amount of cash, Ausby said that decision was up to Kim.

Kim and his wife, Eun, owned and operated the deli in a strip mall in the 7800 block of Washington Blvd., and the Ellicott City couple's son, Sean Kim, testified Tuesday that sometimes the store had as much as $400,000 on hand to cash customers' checks.

Reginald Venable Jr., 47, of the 800 block of E. 33rd St. in Baltimore, is also charged with first-degree murder and related counts in Kim's death. He is scheduled for trial Feb. 15.

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