Convicted soldier loses final appeal in S. Korea theft, assault
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier convicted of one robbery and accused of another had his final appeal dismissed Friday by the South Korean Supreme Court in Seoul.
Pvt. Kidrem Cortez Porter, 21, already was in custody at Seoul Correctional Institute and now is serving a 1½-year sentence for a March 2005 bar theft and assault, according to South Korean and 2nd ID officials.
“We will continue to cooperate with and support the Korean judicial system in all cases, in accordance with the status of forces agreement, when off-post incidents involve our soldiers,” 2nd ID spokesman Maj. Karl Ivey said. “In this case, justice was served.”
While Porter serves his sentence for the March 2005 crime, a soldier who accompanied him escaped charges after making a financial settlement with the bar owner, a paralegal working for Porter’s South Korean attorney said Monday.
Porter was unable to make a similar deal at the time, the paralegal said.
Porter and four other 2nd ID soldiers also are awaiting trial for the 2005 Christmas night robbery of a taxi driver. The trial should begin later this month, according to a Uijeongbu Prosecutor’s Office spokesman.
The five soldiers are accused of planning the attack, hitting the taxi driver over the head with a bottle and then stuffing him in the trunk of his cab after stealing his money and cell phone, according to Uijeongbu prosecutors.
Porter allegedly left post without authorization on Christmas after being returned to his unit while awaiting the appeal of his earlier conviction.
The five accused soldiers are from the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, according to 2nd ID officials. All but Porter remain in U.S. custody.
In December, 2nd ID officials had reported that each soldier admitted to involvement in the Christmas night crime. However, they have said since then that only some of the soldiers admitted a role.
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.