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Former K-pop idol sentenced to 10 years in prison for drink-driving causing death

Former K-pop idol sentenced to 10 years in prison for drink-driving causing death
DJ Yesong was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
PHOTO: Instagram/ProfessaJ Photography

A K-pop idol-turned-DJ has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing a fatal accident while driving under the influence of alcohol by a Seoul Central District Court judge today (July 9).

According to South Korean publication Hankyung, Ahn Ye-song — also known as DJ Yesong — was found guilty under South Korea's Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes for dangerous driving resulting in death and fleeing the scene of the crime and the Road Traffic Act for avoiding taking after-accident measures and drink-driving.

The 23-year-old was a member of now-defunct group Instar and subsequently a DJ active in China.

She was arrested after crashing into a motorcyclist at around 4.35am on Feb 3 in the Gangnam district of Seoul. The man, a delivery driver in his 50s, was flung from his motorcycle and died from his injuries.

It was Ye-song's second accident of the night, and a result of her fleeing the scene of a prior incident. Her blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.221 per cent, which was above the threshold of 0.08 per cent for licence revocation in South Korea.

Photos of Ye-song at the accident scene holding her pet dog instead of rendering aid to the victim caused public outrage.

According to Hankyung, the judge stated during the sentencing: "After the first incident, the victim said that the defendant got out of the car and said, 'Do I look like I've been drinking? Please look past this just once,' and then fled the scene and caused a second accident.

"But she did not even remember how she drove or caused the accident, and she made excuses that are not easily convincing."

He also noted that Ye-song made traffic violations including "stopping in the middle of the road for no reason and changing lanes while speeding" and was also driving at 100km/h prior to the second accident when the speed limit was 50km/h.

According to Chosun Ilbo, the prosecution initially sought a 15-year sentence citing the serious nature of the crime, and due to Ye-song "shifting responsibility to the victim even though it resulted in the loss of life, showing a severe lack of culpability".


Meanwhile, the defence asked for leniency, citing Ye-song giving 5 million won (S$4,900) to the first victim and reaching an agreement with the family of the deceased.

Her lawyer asked for a probationary sentence instead, stating: "The defendant had genius talent in the entertainment field and promoted national prestige by performing overseas in China, Thailand, Taiwan et cetera, and was also a promotional ambassador for the Seoul Jongno Police Station."

Ye-song also pleaded for clemency and made an apology to the victim's family.

However, according to Star News Korea, the judge said during the sentencing: "It is questionable whether the defendant is seriously remorseful.

"The victim of the second accident eventually died. The family of the bereaved came to an agreement and filed a petition for non-punishment, but the person concerned is dead and could not convey his wishes."


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