CREATED Jun. 5, 2013
TUCSON/LOS ANGELES (KGUN9-TV) - It was a shocking verdict for friends and family searching for justice in the murder of an aspiring model and actress from Tucson.
Kelly Soo Park, accused of killing Julianna Redding in 2008, walked free from a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday after the jury found her not guilty of first or second degree murder.
Prosecutors argued Park strangled the Salpointe High School grad to death in her Santa Monica home.
The jury's verdict provoked outrage from Redding's friends and family Tuesday inside the L.A. courtroom. Sheriff's deputies threatened to arrest those who couldn't control their emotions, including Redding's mother.
Prosecutors said a doctor who dated Redding paid park a six-figure amount to threaten her after Redding's father backed out of a business deal.
This is the first high-profile defeat for L.A.'s District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who released this statement:
"We believed in our case and the strength of our evidence. We fought hard and fair in the court of law to obtain justice. Although we disagree with the verdict, we respect our system of justice."
The strength of evidence to which the D.A. referred included Park's DNA found at the scene of the crime.
The doctor accused of paying park never faced any charges.