Murder victim Min Tae kim.
Murder victim Min Tae kim.

Former Bundy worker likely put in chokehold before death

A FORENSIC pathologist has described how a former Bundaberg fruit picker was curled up in a fetal position with a cord tied around his neck when he first examined him in a shallow grave.

Forensic pathologist Alex Olumbe told Brisbane Supreme Court how Min Tae Kim, 28, had injuries consistent with use of a ligature, such as the 335mm lacing cord found, and the pressure of a chokehold position.

He said the body had already begun to decompose when it was lifted from its position at the back of an Algester property in December 2013.

"I was taken to a site where I noted a body of a completely naked young man curled up and covered in black soil from the head to the toes," he said.

Mr Olumbe said there was swelling, green skin discolouration and skin deterioration.

He said further examination in the morgue also revealed several bruises and abrasions.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller asked Mr Olumbe about those, including what mechanism could have caused particular injuries around the neck.

"The presence of a bruise or abrasion around the neck suggests an application of force in the nature of a blunt force, for example, using a chokehold where forearm and upper arm are being used to apply force," he said.

"The other mechanism would be grip marks but in this particular case the injuries would not be consistent with fingertip marks."

Sanghyun Hwang, 31, has pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse but is facing a trial after he pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him.

The jury has heard how Mr Kim wanted to exchange about $12,000 into Korean currency because he was planning to return to South Korea the following month.

The court heard he met Mr Hwang after advertising to do so online.

Fellow forensic expert Amanda Reeves said she analysed DNA on clothing she was given in relation to the case.

She said several items of clothing had Mr Kim's DNA, with statistics showing it was 100 billion times more likely to be his than anyone else.

Ms Reeves said she did find one sample from a glove that had a DNA contribution that could support a link to Mr Hwang.

She said it was 1500 times more likely to be Mr Hwang's DNA than not.

The Crown told the jury in its opening that Mr Hwang allegedly told police in a police interview he was wearing gloves when he strangled Mr Kim from behind.

The trial continues.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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