Wife details husband's slaying Thieves brought terror to home in Randallstown.


In recent stories about the murder trial of Tony Cao, The Evening Sun referred to Song Jin Yun, 21, by the alias Johnny Song. Police say that Yun, who also is charged with murder, went by various names, including Johnny Yun, John Jin Song, Song Jun Yun and Johnny the Kid.

You grew up in a foreign land, speaking a foreign language. You are 50 years old, but for the past 15 years you have lived safely in the United States.

You live in Randallstown, a normally peaceful suburb of Baltimore and you and your husband own a liquor store in Prince George's County.

On a quiet fall Friday night, just after you have gone to sleep with your 2-year-old granddaughter by your side, someone kicks open the bedroom door. A gun is shoved in your face.

The baby cries. The gunman demands, "Where is your husband? Where is your husband?" and then he vanishes into the darkened house. You huddle under your blanket, frightened, protecting the baby.

Boom, boom, boom.

Three gunshots, the noise of the house being ransacked, someone calling "Johnny, Johnny." Then silence.

This is the story of Su Yeoul Choe, whose husband, In Gyu Choe, was killed in their Randallstown home Oct. 21, 1989.

Yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court, Choe, now 52, quietly told her story, all in Korean, but she was unable to positively identify one of his accused killers.

A Korean businessman who volunteers to translate the testimony of Koreans in court trials relayed questions and answers.

Thinh Van Cao, 21, known as "Tony Cao," a slender Vietnamese immigrant, is on trial in the first-degree murder of Mr. Choe, who ++ was gunned down, apparently as he came to aid his wife.

Another man, Song Jin Yun, 21, a Korean immigrant known as Johnny Song, is accused of helping Cao murder Mr. Choe and burglarize his house. Song's trial, which was removed to Caroline County, is scheduled Oct. 21.

Sandy Williams, one of two assistant state's attorneys prosecuting Cao, asked Mrs. Choe yesterday to look around the courtroom to see if she saw the man who was in her bedroom that night.

"She said the man sitting at the bench looks like the man," the translator answered, indicating Cao. "But she's not sure."

The trial was resuming today.

If convicted, Cao faces a life sentence.

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