A Washington man killed a woman with his bare hands at a northeast Portland hotel, and now, two and a half years later, the victim’s family knows he is finally going to prison.
Ashley Benson’s family has been waiting a very long time for the day to come when they could finally confront her killer and get some closure.
With just three words, 26-year-old Tae Bum Yoon made a plea deal, admitting that he killed the 24-year-old Benson on Christmas Day 2014.
Investigators said Benson was working as an escort when she and Yoon agreed to meet at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree hotel.
Records show Yoon came down from Bellevue, Washington, for Benson’s services in the past, but this time they had an argument over payment. Detectives said Yoon strangled Benson, and he was arrested at Union Station two weeks later.
Benson’s relatives confronted Yoon in court one-by-one Friday, explaining how her murder still rattles them daily.
“We are heartbroken and devastated,” Jodie Benson, the victim’s stepmother, said. “Our family can no longer live an ordinary life.”
The family didn’t mince words about Yoon himself, either.
“The only thing I feel for you is pity and disgust,” Sierra Smith, Benson’s sister, said. “Never in a million years did I think I’d feel sorry for a man that killed my sister, but here I am.”
“I’m aware of Mr. Yoon. He’s of the male gender, but he’s not a man,” Kurtis Benson, another relative, added. “A man doesn’t put his hands on a woman. He’s a parasite and he preys on the weak.”
In the end, Yoon offered no apology or explanation for his actions. That’s why Benson’s father feels he deserves to suffer.
“If my words sound harsh, remember that nothing short of murder will ever equate to what you did to my first born child,” Michael Benson said.
According to his plea agreement on the first-degree manslaughter charge, Yoon will spend 18 years in prison. A trust fund has been set up for Benson’s 9-year-old son.
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