A new judge and prosecutor have been named in the Dongwook Ko case, according to The Herald-Times. Ko, 19, was first convicted of attacking a 13-year-old girl with a knife at a Jacob’s School of Music camp in 2019 and later charged with conspiracy to commit murder in 2021.
After attacking the girl in 2019, Ko pleaded guilty to criminal confinement with a deadly weapon. According to The Herald-Times, the prosecutor’s office requested a 12-year jail sentence, but Monroe Circuit Judge Darcie Fawcett sentenced him to eight years of house arrest and two years of probation.
However, two days after his sentencing, Ko was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at his home because his felony conviction canceled his visa. He was then transported to Clay County Jail to await deportation to South Korea.
While confined at Clay County Jail, Ko allegedly attempted to hire his cellmate to torture, disable and kill 14 people he blames for his conviction. The list included the stabbing victim’s parents, defense witnesses, two prosecutors and a journalist who covered the case.
According to The Herald-Times, a hearing regarding Ko’s home detention status scheduled for Friday was canceled after the defense attorney requested a continuance. The hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 9, just 10 days before Ko will face the conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Fawcett, the judge that sentenced Ko to house arrest, recused herself from the case Jan. 7 but did not list a reason. Ko’s case also has a new prosecutor who is replacing the two prosecutors who Ko attempted to hire his cellmate to murder.
Being charged with conspiracy to commit murder in Clay County can result in a prison sentence of 10 to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.