42-year-old Heo, who used to live in the city of Yangpyeong, has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a 68-year-old man to death, stealing his car, smartphone, and wallet, which allegedly spawned over desperate attempts to pay off his debts connected with NCSoft’s Lineage. The man he killed was none other than the father of NCSoft president, Yoon Song-yee.
According to the Korea Times, Heo was convicted of the murder given the available evidence, and for his “economic situation”. The court struck down the prosecutor’s desire to give Heo the death penalty, but also denied the defense’s request for a lighter sentence.
The crime was committed on October 25th, 2017, and originally it was reported by the Korea Herald that they were unsure what the motivations were behind the crime due to Heo misleading police during his supposed confession.
However, three days after the Korea Herald’s report was published, the ISS Time reported that Heo was 8 million won in debt, and was trying to pay down the expenses by selling Lineage items outside of the game on the gray market, to little avail. It was also noted that he was apparently an avid player of NCSoft’s title, which is what was responsible for him eventually getting in debt.
It wasn’t clarified if that was the actual motivation for targeting Mr. Yoon, but as noted in the latest report, Heo and Yoon apparently had a dispute that led to Heo committing murder and stealing the car and belongings of Yoon.
The court saw Heo’s crime as premeditated murder, hence the life sentence.
It’s unlikely that Heo will be able to resume his item-trade schemes while in prison, given that being addicted to Lineage will probably be the least of his worries. It’s still not entirely clear how he came about targeting Mr. Yoon or why, but maybe this will become a big-budget, South Korean psychological drama at some point in the near future and we’ll get more insight into Heo’s actions.
(Thanks for the news tip Otsix Gamex)