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Valley business owner pleads innocent

KING COUNTY - A North Bend business owner accused of slicing another man to death entered an innocent plea Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the King County District Courthouse in Seattle.

Yong Jun Kim, a 54-year-old Maple Valley resident, remains in King County Jail on $1 million cash-only bail following the arraignment.

Kim is being charged with the first-degree murder of Hyung "Max" Lee, a 52-year-old Federal Way real estate agent whom Kim suspected of having an affair with his wife. Kim owns a North Bend service station and Subway sandwich shop, both of which Lee sold to him about six months ago.

According to charging papers, Kim is suspected of hacking Lee to death with a machete on Saturday, Jan. 18, while the two were in Kim's SUV, which crashed off Pacific Highway South. When Lee tried to escape the wreck Kim continued the attack.

According to charging papers and the King County Medical Examiner's Office, Lee died with 13 machete wounds, including four to the back of the head. One of those blows was delivered so violently that it broke Lee's arm.

Charging papers said more than once during the attack Kim went back to the SUV, only to return to Lee's body to continue hacking. At one point after going back to the vehicle, Kim drank weed and insect killer, according to charging papers.

Kim faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.

Kim's next court appearance is set for Tuesday, Feb. 11. A trial date could be set at that time.

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