An aspiring model murdered in her Santa Monica apartment in 2008 was allegedly killed by a hired “muscle” contracted by her father’s former business partner, according to recently released court documents.
Prosecutors charge that Juliana Redding was strangled by Kelly Soo Park, 47, who “has a history of threatening and intimidating individuals who have an ongoing dispute with” Dr. Munir Uwaydah, a Southern California doctor and businessman.
Park was arrested in 2010 for the murder and, now free on $3.5 million bail, is awaiting trial early next year for the killing. Park was allegedly employed by Uwaydah as an enforcer on two other occasions, according to court papers.
Redding, 21, had moved to Los Angeles from Arizona, hoping to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She was employed as a waitress when she was killed, shortly after being featured in a “Hometown Hotties” photo layout in Maxim magazine in 2008.
Park’s previous history as “debt collector” for Uwaydah was detailed in the recent court papers filed by prosecutors. Two months after Redding’s murder in 2008, she allegedly traveled to Kentucky to intimidate one of Uwaydah’s former business partners into paying a $350,000 judgment. Two years later, she applied the same tactics to a California bank manager after he attempted to back out of a business venture, prosecutors allege.
Uwaydah, who fled to Lebanon shortly after Park’s 2010 arrest, once dated Redding and was preparing to start a pain cream manufacturing business with her father Greg, a pharmacist, according to the DA court papers.
When her father learned that Uwaydah was married and had children, he advised his daughter to end her relationship with the physician. Not long afterwards, Greg pulled out of the business venture after growing suspicious of Uwaydah, say prosecutors.
Three days later, Park – who prosecutors claim Uwaydah once boasted was a female “James Bond” – began stalking Redding. She eventually showed up at Redding s bungalow on March 15, 2008, in an attempt to “intimidate and threaten” the model, according to the DA filings.
Redding had been attempting to call 911 when her cellphone was yanked from her hands and was murdered shortly afterwards. When police discovered her battered body the next day, the bones in her neck had been crushed and her gas stove had been turned on, in what prosecutors allege was an attempt to blow up the apartment.
Park’s attorney insists she had nothing to do with Redding’s murder. “We have every confidence that when the true facts come out, the jury will find her innocent,” Park’s attorney Mark Kassabian tells PEOPLE.