The Life of an Alleged Female Enforcer

PHOTO: Kelly Soo Park has been arrested in connection with the 2008 murder of Juliana Redding.PlayCourtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department
WATCH Police Arrest Woman in 2008 Killing of Actress

As a tall, slender and attractive woman, Kelly Soo Park does not fit the typical profile of a menacing enforcer sent to intimidate her boss's business associates.

But that is what Los Angeles prosecutors allege in court documents that accuse her of strangling 21-year-old actress Juliana Redding in 2008.

Park "used her bare hands" to "strangle" the actress and then, according to prosecutors, turned on the gas stove in an "attempt to blow up the apartment."

The new documents emerged during pre-trial hearings this week for Park, who has been free on $3.5 million bail since her arrest in 2010.

Park, 46, is 5-foot-10, weighs 150 pounds and in one recorded conversation is heard claiming she has a "black belt," although it's not clear whether she is a martial arts expert. Her emails talk of wanting to "kick ... the butt" of a California bank regulator and at the time of her arrest she allegedly had a to-do list that including "pressuring" a bank manager, the court motion states.

One alleged victim of Park's intimidation tactics was surprised to find that she had evaded the security system of his gated community and was pounding on his door one night.

"We have a stereotypical picture of what an enforcer looks like and those enforcers are usually, exclusively, big intimidating men," said ABC News' legal analyst Sunny Hostin. "Because she [Park] is so different she would really catch her victim off guard, especially if she is really capable of violence."

Park's official job was real estate broker and financial assistant to Lebanese physician and businessman Munir Uwaydah who court documents say has a stake in a number of real estate, health care and banking interests. He fled to Lebanon shortly after Park's arrest and has not been charged with a crime.

But court documents say that Park and her former boyfriend Ronnie Case "predominantly acted as Dr. Uwaydah's muscle. For example, when Dr. Uwaydah had a business dispute, the defendant and Mr. Case would harass, intimidate and threaten those parties involved."

At another point, the court filing stated that Uwaydah used the duo's "threats and intimidation to facilitate favorable terms for the doctor's business enterprises."

Redding was killed after Uwaydah entered a business deal with the actress' father and aunt. Her father, Greg Redding, was a pharmacist and Uwaydah allegedly wanted him to run a pharmacy and help market a cream for pain, prosecutors claim.

Greg Redding first convinced his daughter to break off a romance with Uwaydah when he discovered Uwaydah was married and had children. But his daughter was killed several days after Redding pulled out of their proposed business deal and sent Uwaydah a letter saying he did not believe his partner was operating legally.

The new motion states that prosecutors are "not seeking to prove that [Park] murdered Ms. Redding at the direction of Dr. Uwaydah," only that he instructed Park to "intimidate and threaten" the young actress.

The court documents submitted by prosecutors detail two occasions when Park was allegedly employed to menace people who tried to interfere or back out of Uwaydah's business deals, claiming those cases show a pattern of behavior.

Michael Miller of Kentucky got involved in a horse breeding deal with Uwaydah in 2003 or 2004 and by 2008 Uwaydah was suing Miller for $350,000. Miller believed the lawsuit was fraudulent and refused to pay.

On June 24, 2008, Miller heard his doorbell ring and when he opened it found Park standing there, having somehow entered his gated community without alerting security. He eventually agreed the following day to pay the demands, but when he failed to send the money, he was again, two months later, "startled by loud knocking at his front door," the court document said.

He didn't open the door, and prosecutors wrote, "The above incident establishes the defendant's profession as Dr. Uwaydah's debt collector or 'muscle.'"

In 2010, Uwaydah allegedly tangled with the manager of a bank he was trying to gain control of as well as a state bank regulator who questioned the deal, according to the prosecutor.

Uwaydah was using straw purchasers to buy up stock certificates to obtain a controlling interest in the Ventura County Business Bank, bank manager Jerry Lukiewski told prosecutors. The deal was being reviewed by David Spainhour of the California Department of Financial Institutions.

Park offered to accompany Lukiewski to a meeting with Spainhour, saying "she could tag along .. as Mr. Lukiewski's 'bodyguard' because she has a 'black belt,'" the prosecutor's motion states.

When Lukiewski replies that he would have brought Park along to "'soften up' Spainhour with a few shots to the head!!!," Park asked in another email if she could go "kick Painhour's [sic] butt," the motion records.

Lukiewski eventually tried to back out of the deal himself, and Uwaydah allegedly sent Park and Case to threaten him, the document states.

At the time Park was arrested for Redding's death, "the defendant and Mr. Case were on their way to intimidate Mr. Lukiewski," prosecutors claim.

Case was originally arrested for Redding's death, but was released without any charges.

While on bail, Park became engaged to Tom Chronister, a 28-year veteran of the Oxnard, Calif., Police Department, who retired in July but is now under investigation for a possible violation of department policies related to his romance with Park.

"We found out about four or five days before his pre-set retirement date," Oxnard police Cmdr. Scott Hebert told of Chronister's relationship with Park. "He was placed on administrative leave at that time and we opened an administrative investigation to look into potential department policy violations."

Hebert said the investigation is still ongoing but declined to specify the policy violations or possible disciplinary action citing department policy.

Neither Park nor Chronister could be reached for comment.

Park's attorney George W. Buehler told the newly submitted evidence implying that Park was Uwaydah's "muscle" are inaccurate and are not connected to Redding's murder.

"Factually I don't think their assertions are true," Buehler said. "What they described having happened in those cases is not, in my understanding, accurate. Those two instances are not similar enough to anything in this case to make them admissible."