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U.S. Soldier Appeals Murder Conviction, Says Army Bungled Case

November 25, 1993

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Before a packed appeals court, an American soldier convicted of murdering a Korean prostitute accused the Army today of failing to pursue leads that implicated another soldier.

″I did not commit a murder,″ Kenneth L. Markle III told the Seoul Appellate Court. The 21-year-old Army medic from Keyser, W.Va., has been sentenced to life in prison. The judge made no decision today on the appeal.

The court was filled with about 120 people, including dozens of radical students who have staged anti-American protests at the courtroom to highlight their demand for the withdrawal of 36,000 U.S. troops from South Korea.

″Yankee go home 3/8″ shouted protesters gathered outside.

Markle was convicted of killing 26-year-old Yun Kum-i in October 1992 in her room near his base, 30 miles north of Seoul. He admitted beating her after she attacked him with a bottle, but said another soldier killed her.

″When I left, she was still alive,″ he said.

Markle said Army investigators did not follow through on leads that implicated the other soldier in the murder.

The judge put off his decision today after the brief hearing. The next session will be held Dec. 16. Markle will remain in U.S. custody until the appeals process is complete.

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