DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – An insanity defense was launched Tuesday for a man on trial for allegedly shooting his co-worker at a Firestone tire store in Bensalem, Pa., last December.
Ken Kim’s attorney, Michael Diamondstein, did not deny that his client shot Joseph Phillips, 39. However, Diamondstein said the jury must decide why Kim started shooting after an argument with the victim.
After the shooting, Kim fled the scene at high speed in his red pickup truck and crashed into a tree two miles away, police said. A Bensalem police officer told jurors that Kim suffered injuries in the crash and seemed confused. Kim denied having a weapon, but a .38-caliber handgun was found in his front pockets.
Kim is charged with first-degree murder in Phillips’ death. Phillips died from two gunshot wounds to the chest a month later.
“He has actually pled not guilty. I think it’s fairly clear that our defense is that there’s not much dispute as to the material facts. We are just disputing whether or not, at the time of the incident, he was able to form the reckless intent to commit the crime he is charged with,” Diamondstein said.
Kim is a native of Vietnam who lives in the Olney section of Philadelphia.
Diamondstein said he believes the trauma Kim suffered as a child in war-torn Vietnam contributed to what happened in December. “We’ve filed a insanity defense, and that is what we’re litigating in front of the jury,” Diamondstein said.
By: Staff Writer