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Monday, November 08, 2004 - Page updated at 07:38 P.M.

Former prosecutor charged with attempted murder

By GENE JOHNSON
The Associated Press

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SEATTLE — Prosecutors charged lawyer William R. Joice with attempted first-degree murder today in the shooting of a rival attorney.

In charging documents filed in King County Superior Court, they said Joice drove to the office of Kevin Jung last Wednesday morning and shot him in the back of the head as Jung sat in a Lexus sedan.

Jung, a 44-year-old married father of two, remained in critical condition at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue. Doctors last week placed his chances for survival at 50 percent, but he had suffered serious brain damage, the charging documents said.

Joice was being held on $5 million bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 18. He would face a standard sentencing range of 20 to 25 years if convicted of attempted murder, but could face life in prison or possibly the death penalty if Jung dies.

Joice, a former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor, and Jung, a prominent lawyer in the local Korean-American community, had been representing opposing sides in a contract dispute.

Records in the case show that Jung had become increasingly frustrated with Joice's refusal to provide documents, his spotty attendance at court hearings and his tardiness in complying with court orders. Jung sent several letters to Joice in which he complained about unprofessional conduct, and Jung finally asked a Snohomish County Superior Court commissioner to find Joice in contempt.

A hearing on the contempt motion was scheduled for last Wednesday, the day of the shooting.

A witness scribbled down the license plate of Joice's rented Pontiac as it squealed away from the scene and provided it to police, who tracked him down through Eight Dollar A Day Car Rental in Everett, charging documents said.

A probable cause affidavit said Joice, a deputy in the Snohomish County prosecutor's office from 1991 to 2000, owned four registered guns, had a concealed-weapons permit and sometimes practiced shooting with members of the suburban Mill Creek Police Department.

Bellevue Police Detective Carl Kleinknecht wrote in the charging documents that the 9 mm pistol apparently used in the shooting was outfitted with a homemade silencer. The gun was found in a "murder kit" in the trunk of Joice's Lexus, he said, and a sandwich baggie was duct-taped to it to catch spent casings.

Surveillance video from an Everett hardware store showed Joice buying materials to make the silencer, Kleinknecht wrote. Other items in the "murder kit" included a dagger, police-style gloves, a flashlight, a fake black beard and sunglasses.
 
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Joice's lawyer, Stephen Garvey, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

A Snohomish County Superior Court commissioner had required Joice to pay Jung thousands of dollars for wasting his time by failing to show up for hearings or turn over documents. In addition, charging papers revealed the IRS placed a lien on Joice's home in Mill Creek last year because he owed $18,500 in taxes.

Nevertheless, King County prosecutors requested $5 million bail, saying he has access to significant amounts of money and has family in other countries. Joice owns a Lexus and a Porsche.

According to the Washington State Bar Association, Jung focused his practice on international business, real estate and immigration law. He regularly traveled to Seoul, where he has a liaison office.

He has represented some of the largest Korean multinational corporations, including the Samsung Group, writes newspaper columns and hosts a weekly legal program on KOAM Television, a Korean-language channel based in Federal Way.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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