A 28-year-old man, identified by the surname Shin, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Seoul court for a hit-and-run incident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.
The incident took place in Apgujeong, Gangnam, Seoul, in August 2023. Shin, driving a Rolls-Royce, was found guilty of murder while under the influence of illicitly prescribed drugs, with the court delivering the verdict on Wednesday.
The Seoul Central District Court dismissed Shin’s claim that he left the scene to seek help from a doctor after the accident. The hit-and-run incident involved Shin fatally hitting a woman on the sidewalk and subsequently fleeing the scene in the upscale district of Apgujeong last year, leading to severe charges against him.
The court highlighted that the defendant, after causing the car accident while under the influence of illicitly prescribed drugs, disregarded the doctor’s advice not to drive.
Subsequently, he displayed a lack of effort to aid the victim, quickly fled the scene, and attempted to destroy evidence. Even during the arrest, the defendant exhibited abnormal behavior, such as smiling at the victim, further contributing to the gravity of the charges, according to the court.
Prosecutors had initially sought a 20-year prison term, disputing the defendant’s claim that he left the accident site to seek medical help. The court deemed this argument unacceptable, given the lack of notification to eyewitnesses and the departure before the ambulance arrived, further solidifying the gravity of the charges against the defendant.
The victim, aged 27 at the time of the incident, suffered fatal consequences, being declared brain dead and succumbing to the injuries about four months later. The court stated that the defendant’s actions, including ignoring medical advice and striking the victim in circumstances where avoiding the collision was impossible, added to the severity of the crime.
Shin, who tested positive for seven different drugs, including ketamine, in a forensic test conducted by the National Forensic Service, had previously faced two convictions for drug-related offenses.
The court argued that a stringent sentence was imperative to curb the impact of the rising number of drug users in the country and prevent harm to innocent individuals.
Simultaneously, prosecutors have formally charged a hospital director, known by the surname Yeom, based in Gangnam, Seoul, with allegations of illicitly prescribing narcotic drugs to the driver involved in the Apgujeong Rolls-Royce hit-and-run case.
Currently in custody, the doctor, in his 40s, faces accusations of prescribing drugs for non-medical purposes. Additionally, the Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office revealed that the same doctor was charged with sexually assaulting approximately ten women while they were under anesthesia. These severe charges add another layer of legal scrutiny to the doctor’s actions, potentially leading to significant consequences.