By ISRAEL SALAS-RODRIGUEZ
The Queens man accused of stabbing to death another man in an argument outside a karaoke lounge in Midtown’s Koreatown recently was arraigned on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
James Park, 28, appeared in court for the first time since the accusation of fatally stabbing, Howard Chi, 33, on Jan. 29. Park pleaded not guilty to second degree murder charges. Judge Melissa Jackson denied bail because the defendant was deemed a flight risk because of his connections to Korea from where he has lived in the past.
Assistant DA Emily Ching said she received a DNA report from the crime scene Monday afternoon, and has requested a DNA sample from Park, who now has a ten-day deadline to respond to the request.
The crime occurred outside of Maru Karaoke on W. 32nd St. near Fifth Ave. Police said Chi got into an argument with Park and his cousins moments before the attack. The criminal complaint against Park says witnesses saw him wearing a black mask over his nose and face as they watched both men stand face to face.
According to Ching, Park sought out the victim and repeatedly stabbed Chi in the chest, puncturing his lung and heart. Chi was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour after the incident occurred.
Ching said Park purchased a one-way ticket to Hong Kong just a few hours after the 5 a.m. slaying. Police were able to track down Park’s residence as they spotted him loading luggage into a car, along with $2,500 cash on him.
Park’s was due back in court April 6.