Denver businessman found guilty in business colleague's murder

DENVER, Colo. - A Denver businessman found guilty of murdering a business partner in 2010 was sentenced to the maximum possible prison term in Denver District Court Thursday.

Joong Rhee, 69, was sentenced to 48 years in prison on his second-degree murder conviction and an additional 18 months in prison for tampering with evidence.  His conviction on first-degree assault on an at-risk adult was combined with the murder charge.

Hae C. Park, 64, was reported missing from Adams County in March 2010. Several days later, a crime scene was discovered at Rhee's office in Denver that shifted the missing person investigation to a homicide investigation, prosecutors said. 

Rhee was charged with first-degree murder a month later, even though the Park's body wasn't found until the following summer in 2011, in a desert area of Utah off  Interstate 70.

The trial lasted two weeks and the jury deliberated a full day before reaching a verdict last January. 

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Luxen argued for the maximum sentence Thursday, as did Park family members who attended the hearing. 

Rhee declined to make any comment  before he was sentenced.

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