30-year-old Young Choi, accused in murder involving sword, not guilty by reason of mental disease

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON COUNTY — 30-year-old Young Choi, accused in a murder involving a sword, has reached a plea deal in the case against him.

In court on Thursday, October 8th, Choi, who is charged with one count of first degree intentional homicide pleaded no contest/not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Choi’s bond was revoked, and a sentencing/disposition hearing date was set — October 21st.

On June 19th, 2014, Watertown police were called by a 24-year-old man living in an apartment at Yanger’s Bar in Watertown. That man reported a man on the second floor was attacking someone with a sword.

The caller reported being injured on the hand by the sword-yielding man, but that a second victim on the second floor was more seriously injured.

Upon police arrival, a suspect was found at the top of a stairwell leading to the second floor.

Initially, Watertown police officers on scene spoke to the suspect, who refused to surrender. The Watertown Police Department’s Entry Team was called to the scene along with a trained negotiator to speak with the suspect. The negotiator was able to get the suspect to cooperate — and the suspect surrendered himself to officers on scene.

Watertown police officers located the second seriously injured victim in a room on the second floor. The second victim was identified as a 27-year-old male resident of Yanger’s boarding house. His injuries included stab wounds and lacerations, and he was critically injured when discovered by police.

Both injured victims were transported to UW Health Partners – Watertown Regional Medical Center by the Watertown Fire Department for treatment.

The 24-year-old victim with the hand injury received medical treatment and was released. The 27-year-old victim was treated, but ultimately died as a result of the injuries received in the attack.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s room and recovered two sword-type weapons, along with additional items of evidence.

In court on August 8th Choi told the court he hadn’t received a competency examination – saying his meeting with a doctor in jail wasn’t an examination. Choi told the court he was competent to proceed with trial.

Choi’s attorney told the court Choi was competent – but Choi said he wanted the court to rely on what he was saying regarding his competency.

Choi requested a “correct evaluation” – saying he wanted to be examined in a facility outside the jail.

The court ordered a second competency examination for Choi – to be performed at the jail within 30 days.

Choi was then ordered removed from the videoconferencing room – as he was apparently making verbal outbursts.

Choi’s attorney was appointed as standby counsel – as the court ruled that Choi must be deemed competent before he could waive his rights to counsel.

Court officials were then awaiting the return of Choi’s second competency examination.