The Korea Herald


Man gets 35 years in jail for killing man in fire after losing game

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Nov. 24, 2023 - 18:41

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A man in his 60s who was convicted of setting his neighbor on fire, eventually killing him, after losing a game has been handed a 35-year prison term, the district court in Gwangju said Friday.

The Gwangju District Court convicted the man on charges of murder and breaching the Special Act on Prevention of Insurance Fraud.

The man, whose identity has been withheld, was accused of killing the victim -- also in his 60s -- after the two had been playing the traditional Korean game yutnori for money in November last year, in Nokdong-eup of Goheung County, South Jeolla Province.

When the victim tried to leave after winning some 1 million won ($770), the infuriated man poured gasoline and set him on fire. The victim was immediately taken to the hospital, but died four months later after suffering severe burns.

The court explained the reasoning for the sentencing, saying the convicted had murdered the victim in a cruel and painful manner.

It said the convicted man did not try to compensate for the recovery and damage to the victim and failed to reach a reconciliation agreement with the victim’s family.

In addition, the court added that the arraigned person had tried to attribute the cause of the victim’s death to the bereaved family, claiming he had instead lost his life to chronic illness.