Business Partner Convicted of Killing Laguna Man



Edward Younghoon Shin, 41, of Irvine, was convicted on Friday, Dec. 7, of murdering 33-year-old Christopher Smith, of Laguna Beach, on June 4, 2010.

In 2010, Shin and Smith co-owned an internet advertising business called 800xchange. Shin was found guilty of murdering his business partner in their San Juan Capistrano office and disposing of his body in order to gain control of Smith’s shares of the company.

He committed the murder for financial gain with the intention of gaining full ownership of the business,” Orange County District Attorney officials said in a release.

Chris Smith’s family will speak out in a television interview with NBC News’ Keith Morrison during Friday’s two-hour Dateline NBC. Image courtesy of Dateline NBC.

Prosecutors said that after the murder, Shin “produced documents containing a false signature from Smith signing the rights of the business over to the defendant.”

After Smith went missing, the Laguna Beach Police Department began investigating the case as a missing persons case based on a report filed by Smith’s family in April 2011. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) then took over as the lead investigating agency based on evidence that the victim had been murdered in San Juan Capistrano.

Shin was arrested on Aug. 28, 2011, by OCSD investigators at Los Angeles International Airport. He was sitting onboard a flight awaiting departure to Canada.

Shin has been charged with felony murder and a sentencing enhancement for committing murder for financial gain. He faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Shin’s sentencing is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, in Department C-35 of the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.


Dateline NBC to Air Two-Hour Program

Smith’s family will speak out in a television interview with NBC News’ Keith Morrison during tonight’s two-hour Dateline NBC. The program will include interviews with private investigator Joe Dalu, Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Sergeant Don Voght and Sergeant Ray Wert, Smith’s former colleague Christina Gries, and prosecutor Matt Murphy. The broadcast airs Friday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, 8 p.m. CT.

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