American gets 20 years for 1997 killing in Seoul

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Arthur Patterson_305022

FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Arthur Patterson, center, an American charged with murdering a Seoul university student in 1997, is escorted by South Korean police officers upon his arrival at Incheon International airport in Incheon, South Korea. South Korean prosecutors have asked for a 20-year prison term for Patterson charged with […]

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A news report says a Seoul court has sentenced an American to 20 years in prison for fatally stabbing a South Korean university student at a Seoul Burger King restaurant in 1997.

Yonhap news agency reported the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Arthur Patterson from California on Friday. Prosecutors had earlier asked for a 20-year prison term.

Patterson was extradited in September, 16 years after he fled to the U.S.

Patterson’s American friend who was with him at the time of the murder was initially sentenced to life in prison for killing 22-year-old student Cho Choong-pil. He was later acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Patterson originally received an 18-month term for destroying evidence. He was later freed in a special amnesty and fled while authorities launched a new investigation.

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