AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A Thousand Oaks woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of murdering an aspiring model and actress in her Santa Monica apartment.
Kelly Soo Park, 44, is accused in the killing of Juliana Redding, 21, who was found dead on March 16, 2008, after her mother called police when she could not reach her daughter.
In court papers filed last month, the case’s investigating officer wrote that the victim’s father, Greg Redding, was involved in a business negotiation with Park’s employer, Dr. Munir Uwaydah, that “fell apart” five days before the murder.
Park received $250,000 from her employer about three weeks before the killing, and her father received a $113,400 payment three days before Park’s arrest, according to the court papers signed by Santa Monica police Detective Karen Thompson.
Uwaydah, a Marina del Rey physician, was convicted in 2005 of defrauding a medical supply company of nearly $1 million and is being investigated for possibly filing millions of dollars in fraudulent insurance claims, the Los Angeles Times reported last month. Uwaydah is believed to be traveling outside of the country. Prosecutors are not sure of his whereabouts.
Redding attended Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, where she played on the golf team. After relocating to Southern California, she landed a role in a low-budget 2005 movie called “Kathy T Gives Good Hoover” and was featured in a photo layout for Maxim magazine’s “Hometown Hottie” contest.
Park — who remains jailed on $1 million bail — is due back at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles on July 20 for a hearing to determine if her bail should be increased to $5 million. Prosecutors are concerned that money Park could use to make bail may have been earned via an illegal enterprise.
Her roommate, 34-year-old Ronnie Wayne Case, was also arrested in connection with the murder, but prosecutors declined last month to immediately charge him pending further investigation.
Santa Monica police said last month that there could be more arrests in the case.
Police in Oxnard and Torrance, and a major crimes unit in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, worked on the case with the assistance of the FBI.