An oil tanker crew member saw a 66-year-old man accused of murder allegedly punching the victim before he was found with a stab wound to his chest.
Jong Geun Byun made his initial court appearance at District Court today after he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of a crew member identified in court documents as Jong II Kim.
A Korean interpreter has been requested for Byun’s preliminary hearing scheduled to be held Thursday. He remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail.
New court documents detail what crew members heard and saw aboard the vessel named Hai Soon 39 that was docked at Pier 10 at Aloha Tower at the time of the stabbing.
At about 1:10 a.m. Friday, a crew member told police he opened the door of his room when he heard loud noises and observed Byun arguing with Kim.
Kim then walked into the witness’ room. Police said Byun followed him, pushed the witness out of the room and locked the door. Byun and Kim were the only individuals inside the locked room.
The witness left the area and returned shortly after but the door was still locked. Police said he left to look for other crew members to assist him.
When the witness returned, he saw Kim “laying on his back with blood on his chest as other crew members applied first aid,” the court document said.
Byun was observed standing inside the same room as the crew administered first aid.
Another witness told police at some point when the door to the room was slightly open, he saw Byun allegedly punching Kim.
Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported Kim to Queen’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Police arrived and arrested Byun on suspicion of second-degree murder.