One of two suspects in the murder of Hollister resident Yoon Ji has accepted a plea deal on lesser charges and is facing the possibility of 11 years in prison.
Jung Choi accepted the plea deal at a Jan. 24 hearing. She pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, which carries an 11-year prison sentence, according to records. The homicide charge against her will be dropped as part of the deal.
The other suspect, Sang Ji, remains on track for a murder trial March 9 and has a trial confirmation scheduled for Feb. 21, according to records.
Ji is represented by Art Cantu, and Choi is represented by Harry Damkar.
Jung Choi and Sang Ji previously had their jury trial scheduled for July 22 at the San Benito County Courthouse, but it was put off when the suspects motioned for respective doctor’s examinations and dismissal motions.
The victim’s husband Ji and his alleged mistress Choi remain in custody at the county jail on more than $2 million in bail each.
For the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, which oversaw the investigation, the case started Dec. 2 of 2017 when one of the two daughters of Yoon and Sang Ji – Serena Ji – contacted authorities from Los Angeles where she lives to report her mother as missing after not hearing from her since Nov. 27 of that year. On the day before, the daughter had received “an odd message from her father, Sang Ji, stating her mother went to South Korea unexpectedly,” according to a prior sheriff’s office statement.
Afterward, Serena Ji filed the missing person’s report on her mother. The sheriff’s office issued a search warrant and served it on Dec. 6 of that year. JI and Choi were arrested and booked in the San Benito County Jail on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
On Dec. 20 of 2017, authorities discovered Yoon Ji’s body buried in a ravine in the 2300 block of Salinas Grade Road near San Juan Bautista with the remains stuffed in a suitcase.