An appellate court in Suwon upheld a lower court ruling, Friday, which sentenced three sisters to up to 10 years in prison for beating their mother resulting in her death, after they had been told to do so by a shaman.
The Suwon High Court upheld the decision to hand down 10 years in prison to the victim's eldest daughter, 44, and seven years each to the second and third daughters, 41 and 39, respectively, for the bizarre killing.
|Korea Times file|
According to the court, the three sisters beat their mother at a cafe run by the eldest daughter in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, for about three hours in the early morning of July 24 last year. Several hours later, they again beat and kicked the victim resulting in her death.
The sisters, who were believers in shamanism, beat their mother at the directions of the shaman, who had been a friend of the victim for 30 years.
The shaman, who was angry with the victim's behavior, told the first daughter, "I can help you find a good politician or a chaebol connected spouse" but that the sisters had to punish their mother as she was blocking their good luck.
The court did not accept the sisters' claim that they committed the crime at the instigation of another party.
"The shaman, who had been acquainted with the victim for 30 years, seems to have built a strong relationship with the three sisters, giving them a lot of help financially," the court said.
It said the shaman sent them text messages such as "Discipline your mother every day," and "Make her follow your will even if you have to use force," and considering this, the shaman apparently knew that they would hurt the victim.
"Even if she was not directly responsible for the victim's death, it seems enough that she abetted the assault which eventually led to the victim's death," it said in the ruling.