East Hawaii News

Woman Found Guilty of Murdering Big Island Native in New York

November 22, 2013, 12:51 PM HST
* Updated November 22, 4:09 PM
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A jury in Rochester, NY has found a woman guilty of second-degree murder for her involvement in the death early this year of Edline Chun, a Hilo High School graduate and respected faculty member of a New York university.

Natalie Johnson, 26, faces a sentence of 25 years to life when she is sentenced on Dec. 3, ABC affiliate WHAM-TV reported last month.

Rochester police in March accused Johnson and her 28-year-old boyfriend, Jerrell Henry, of robbing Chun and shooting her inside her home and then dumping her body, which was found in a ravine on Feb. 6.

Rochester television station YNN last month reported that a medical examiner testified during Johnson’s trial that Chun’s hands and feet had been bound with duct tape before she was shot twice in the head.

An autopsy also showed that she had several broken bones likely sustained when she was thrown down the ravine.

Prosecutors have accused Johnson and Henry of forcing Chun, 73, to sign blank checks and call her bank to transfer money out of her account.

Also testifying was a representative of a company that tracked the ankle bracelet Henry was wearing at the time of Chun’s death who said its location corresponded with the area Chun lived and where her body was found.

Johnson’s defense attorney argued there was no physical evidence connecting Johnson with the crime scene.

Henry is scheduled to go on trial on Dec. 3 on a charge of first-degree murder.

The death of Chun, a 1957 graduate of Hilo High, shocked colleagues and students at the School of Media Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where the writing professor had taught for two decades.

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