Jury selection to begin for Chyung murder trial

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in New London Superior Court for the murder trial of Chihan Eric Chyung.

Chyung, 50, is accused of murdering his wife, Paige A. Bennett, on June 2, 2009, at their home at 257 Norwich Ave., Taftville. Chyung admitted he and Bennett, who had been married for just three weeks, had been arguing before he shot her, but said his pistol discharged accidentally.

Over the next few weeks, attorneys for the state and Chyung will select 12 regular jury members and several alternates. The trial will begin March 17 before Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed.

The trial had been postponed in January due to the death of a firearms expert who examined the 9 mm pistol that Chyung allegedly used to shoot Bennett. Testimony at Chyung’s trial is expected to center around the weapon’s safety features. Prosecutor David J. Smith said the pistol, which police recovered in Chyung’s pickup truck after the shooting, has been retested.

Norwich police initially charged Chyung with manslaughter, but Smith upgraded the charges to murder in June 2011. Chyung has pleaded not guilty and opted for a trial. He is represented by Brian J. Woolf and Kathleen J. Rallo of the Woolf Law Firm in East Hartford. He remains free on a $1.25 million bond, with electronic monitoring, while his case is pending.

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