Editor’s Note: A previous headline stated she served 18 years in prison. She has in fact served 19 years.
Jeen “Gina” Han went to prison for plotting to kill her twin sister almost twenty years ago; now, she’s up for parole, and it’s likely to be granted.
According to Newsweek, Han made international headlines in 1996 for conspiring to murder her sister, Sunny Han, and her then-roommate Helen Kim. The twins, who moved to the U.S. from South Korea as children, had been close when they were younger — even being recognized as co-valedictorians of their San Diego County high school — but fought constantly, according to The Chronicle. Their relationship deteriorated as they got older, culminating in Sunny Han — nicknamed “the good twin” by police — accusing her sister of stealing her credit cards and BMW.
These allegations appeared to be the last straw; Han enlisted the help of two young men to teach her sister a lesson. Sixteen-year-old Archie Bryant and 15-year-old John Sayarath were recruited, and while the Han waited in her car, the teenagers snuck into her sister’s Irvine home under the guise of magazine salesmen. They first went for Sunny Han, Kim calling 911 when she heard the commotion from another room. The teenagers noticed Kim as well and decided to bound and gag her alongside their target. Luckily, dispatch sent officers to the home before the pair could inflict damage upon the young women, and all three co-conspirators were swiftly arrested.
The trio was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, false imprisonment, and burglary; Han — referred to as “the evil twin” by authorities — was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. “I am deeply sorry for everything that has happened,” she said in her defense. “I am truly sorry. Despite the circumstances, I had absolutely no intent to kill my twin sister. Sunny is my flesh and blood.”
Now, after serving 19 years of her sentence, she’s eligible for parole. The California State Board of Parole recommended Han’s release after a hearing on October 31, according to People. By law, the state must undergo a 120-day review period, followed by Governor Jerry Brown’s approval for release.
Although two decades is plenty of time for someone to atone for their sins, some officials are unsure if Han is ready to be released to the public. Prosecutors pointed out that she “never participated in mental-health treatment” for her supposed “borderline personality disorder”.
“At the parole hearing, Gina Han at first blush appeared to have attempted introspection; however, she is very intelligent and still manipulative,” Deputy District Attorney Nikki Chambers wrote to Brown.
Additionally, she’s been writing letters to men in an attempt to secure money and lodging after her release; according to the OC Register, one man from the U.K. has already wired her $100,000 after corresponding for a year.
“The fact remains that she is still flexing the manipulation muscles that she used when she recruited two young men to murder her sister, and they appear to be as keen as they were in 1996,” Chambers wrote.
Han maintains that she never intended to kill her sister.
Featured Image via YouTube / Los Angeles Times