Domestic Violence Story

You are a reporter for Irvin” rel=”nofollow”>ine Today, a local onlin” rel=”nofollow”>ine news publication. Just after 8
a.m. today, you received the followin” rel=”nofollow”>ing statement by e-mail from the Irvin” rel=”nofollow”>ine
Police Department.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. last night, we received a telephone call from a
person who identified herself as Sandra Kim. She sounded quite distressed in” rel=”nofollow”>in
in” rel=”nofollow”>informin” rel=”nofollow”>ing us that she had just arrived home a few min” rel=”nofollow”>inutes earlier to fin” rel=”nofollow”>ind her
husband, Robert Kim, dead on the floor of the family’s Irvin” rel=”nofollow”>ine home.
We responded along with paramedics and arrived at the home in” rel=”nofollow”>in the 600 block
of Birch Street in” rel=”nofollow”>in Irvin” rel=”nofollow”>ine. Our officers, upon enterin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the kitchen, observed the
body of an Asian man on the floor. He had been shotseveral times. It was
determin” rel=”nofollow”>ined he was deceased, the apparent victim of multiple gunshot wounds.
He has sin” rel=”nofollow”>ince been identified as Robert Kim, 47, a resident of the home.
Sandra Kim, 42, was at the residence and confirmed she had placed the call.
In in” rel=”nofollow”>initial questionin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, Mrs. Kim told officers she sought to revive her husband before
placin” rel=”nofollow”>ing her 911 call.
Officers noted objects strewn in” rel=”nofollow”>in the kitchen, signs of an apparent struggle. They
also observed a large contusion on Mrs. Kim’s right check. She said it was the result
of a recent bikin” rel=”nofollow”>ing accident.
In response to officers’ questions regardin” rel=”nofollow”>ing who might have killed Mr. Kim, Mrs.
Kim replied he had many enemies, due to what she called his unethical busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness
dealin” rel=”nofollow”>ings and unpaid debts. Further, she asserted, it was likely one or more of Mr.
Kim’s enemies committed the murder, as two of them had threatened to harm
him in” rel=”nofollow”>in the last few weeks.
Just before arrivin” rel=”nofollow”>ing home, Mrs. Kim said, she had been workin” rel=”nofollow”>ing at the accountin” rel=”nofollow”>ing
office she owns and operates. She also said she had run a few errands.
However, officers determin” rel=”nofollow”>ined that there were in” rel=”nofollow”>inconsistencies in” rel=”nofollow”>in accounts of her
whereabouts between 7 pm and her reported arrival home at 11:20 pm. She
became visibly nervous and agitated as the police in” rel=”nofollow”>interview contin” rel=”nofollow”>inued, especially
as detectives focused on her activities before the emergency call.
Officers surveyin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the crime scene noted there were no signs of forced entry,
suggestin” rel=”nofollow”>ing that the killer had easy access to the home or was allowed in” rel=”nofollow”>in.
Meanwhile, a search of the premises turned up a.38 caliber handgun. It was
wrapped in” rel=”nofollow”>in a cloth and in” rel=”nofollow”>inside a trash receptacle in” rel=”nofollow”>in a corner of the backyard.
Mrs. Kim was questioned about the weapon, and she admitted her earlier
account was in” rel=”nofollow”>inaccurate. Reportedly, what actually happened is that she and a
few friends decided to go out for drin” rel=”nofollow”>inks at about 7 p.m. last night.
Mrs. Kim said she did not in” rel=”nofollow”>inform her husband of her outin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, as he would not
have approved. The couple had been undergoin” rel=”nofollow”>ing severe marital difficulties, she
said, mostly due to his verbally and physically abusive nature.
Sin” rel=”nofollow”>ince movin” rel=”nofollow”>ing from Korea to Irvin” rel=”nofollow”>ine some five years earlier, Mr. Kim had become
extremely jealous and controllin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, she claimed. This problem, accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to her,
recently had become more serious, with Mr. Kim strikin” rel=”nofollow”>ing her at least three times
in” rel=”nofollow”>in the past six months.
Our department has no record of such in” rel=”nofollow”>incidents, and Mrs. Kim added that she
chose not to report them in” rel=”nofollow”>in the hope relations could be repaired through
marriage counselin” rel=”nofollow”>ing. Accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to Mrs. Kim, the couple has never attended
counselin” rel=”nofollow”>ing sessions.
As soon as Mrs. Kim arrived home, she told officers, Mr. Kim angrily confronted
her about her outin” rel=”nofollow”>ing. He became extremely agitated, grabbed her by the
throat and struck her once with his fist, leavin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the facial contusion observed.
Breakin” rel=”nofollow”>ing free, Mrs. Kim allegedly retreated to a bathroom where she had hidden
a handgun in” rel=”nofollow”>in the event she needed to defend herself from Mr. Kim.
Mrs. Kim said she returned to the kitchen where she had been arguin” rel=”nofollow”>ing with her
husband. Accordin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to her, Mrs. Kim brandished the weapon and warned Mr.
Kim that she would not hesitate to shoot him should he attempt to assault her
again” rel=”nofollow”>in. Additionally, she in” rel=”nofollow”>informed him she would seek a divorce immediately.
Enraged, Mr. Kim lunged at her, Mrs. Kim asserted. While she had the
opportunity to flee, Mrs. Kim told officers, she thought the best course of action
was to shoot her husband.
At that poin” rel=”nofollow”>int, she fired the pistol, strikin” rel=”nofollow”>ing Mr. Kim numerous times. This attack
was necessary, she asserted, to protect herself from grave bodily harm or death.
Investigatin” rel=”nofollow”>ing officers determin” rel=”nofollow”>ined that based on the available evidence, Mrs.
Kim should be arrested on suspicion of murder. Officers carried out the arrest
withoutin” rel=”nofollow”>incident.
She is in” rel=”nofollow”>in Orange County Jail and is expected to attend a prelimin” rel=”nofollow”>inary hearin” rel=”nofollow”>ing
this afternoon.
The couple’s children, ages eight and ten, were asleep upstairs. They were
unharmed. The children are in” rel=”nofollow”>in the custody of Children’s Protective Services
pendin” rel=”nofollow”>ing placement with relatives today or tomorrow.
Just as you are startin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to write your story, you receive a phone call from Laura
Figueroa, who identifies herself as Mrs. Kim’s attorney. She says at the outset
that she will make a short statement and not take questions for now. Here is
her statement:
“Mrs. Kim is a classic victim of battered women’s syndrome. The action she took
in” rel=”nofollow”>in defendin” rel=”nofollow”>ing herself from her husband’s brutal and potentially fatal assault last
night will form the basis of our defense again” rel=”nofollow”>inst the unjust murder charge.”
She then ends the call.
You can fin” rel=”nofollow”>ind in” rel=”nofollow”>information on battered women’s syndrome here:
http://family.fin” rel=”nofollow”>
Your assignment is to write a story of between 400 and 425 words based
main” rel=”nofollow”>inly on the statement. Mrs. Kim’s lawyer’s statement is far shorter, but it
needs to should not be buried in” rel=”nofollow”>in the story. carefully attribute the
in” rel=”nofollow”>initial statement to the police, and keep in” rel=”nofollow”>in min” rel=”nofollow”>ind that muchof what is reported
are allegations.
Some of what the police reported can be taken as fact, in” rel=”nofollow”>includin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the death and
its apparent cause. Other in” rel=”nofollow”>information is at this poin” rel=”nofollow”>int the police version of what
happened. That does not mean it is not true, just that it must be properly
Your lead ought to summarize the key facts, such as the alleged murder and
arrest, but not in” rel=”nofollow”>include names or estimated times. Those kin” rel=”nofollow”>inds of details are best
wrapped in” rel=”nofollow”>into the body of the story. Ask yourself where do lawyer Figueroa’s
comments best fit.
Fin” rel=”nofollow”>inally, carefully determin” rel=”nofollow”>ine the best order of facts beyond the lead. As is
typical, the police have not organized facts in” rel=”nofollow”>in order of importance.

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