FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:October 24, 2014
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
Leesburg Woman Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
Dispositional Hearing Set for January
LEESBURG, Virginia – October 24, 2014. Dae Ja Hwang, 59, upon entry of a plea was found “Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity” of second degree murder in the March 2013 homicide involving her husband, Kyung Hwang.
The Honorable Burke F. McCahill, made this finding after accepting a plea agreement between the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Ms. Hwang. This agreement was supported by two court-ordered reports from psychologists from Central State Hospital and Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, one requested by Ms. Hwang’s attorney and a second requested by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Both reports concluded that Ms. Hwang met the legal criteria for insanity at the time of the murder of her husband.
Upon making this finding, McCahill ordered Ms. Hwang to Central State Hospital to undergo further psychological examinations and treatment pursuant to Virginia Code Section 19.2-182.2. A dispositional hearing is scheduled on January 5, 2015.
Ms. Hwang was previously deemed incompetent to stand trial by the Loudoun Circuit Court on August 26, 2013 and ordered to receive restoration services at Central State Hospital. The Court deemed her restored to competency on June 27, 2014.
During the early morning hours of March 2, 2013, the Leesburg Police Department received a 911 call from Ms. Hwang, who told dispatchers that she killed her husband with a knife at their home in Leesburg. Officers responded to the home and found Mr. Hwang deceased in an upstairs bedroom with apparent knife wounds to his body. They subsequently recovered a bloody knife from underneath the bed in the same bedroom. Officers found no other people inside the residence and found no signs of forced entry. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later determined that Mr. Hwang died as a result of sharp force injuries to his neck and noted a number of sharp force injuries, abrasions, and bite marks, throughout his body.
Further investigation by law enforcement revealed that Ms. Hwang had a history of mental illness, including a suicide attempt and in-patient hospitalization in July 2012. She also had a history of delusions, believing that her husband was spying on her and that he fathered a child with another woman. Neither law enforcement nor family members interviewed discussed any evidence to substantiate these claims.