Denver businessman Joong Rhee found guilty of killing business partner, dumping body in Utah

Hae C. Park's body wasn't found for a year

DENVER - A Denver businessman accused of killing his business partner and dumping his body near Moab, Utah, has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Joong Rhee, 69,  on Friday was also convicted of first-degree assault on an at-risk adult.

It was his second trial in Denver on charges alleging he killed 64-year-old Hae C. Park in 2010. Rhee's original trial on charges including first-degree murder ended in a hung jury in September.

Prosecutors said Rhee was in debt and beat Park to death after first filing a deed of trust that said Park would surrender the title to vacant land in Utah if Park didn't pay Rhee $300,000 that he was owed.

Park was reported missing from Adams County in March 2010. Several days later, a crime scene was discovered at Rhee's office in Denver.  That discovery shifted the missing person investigation to a homicide investigation. 

Rhee was charged with first-degree murder on April 16, 2010, even though the victim’s body wasn’t found until the following summer in 2011.

Rhee's lawyer had argued Rhee killed Park in self-defense.

Rhee will face up to 48 years in prison when he appears for sentencing on March 21.