Chol Soo Lee born in Korea.
Chol Soo Lee immigrated to the United States.
June 3, 1973
Yip Yee Tak, a Wah Ching youth gang advisor, is gunned down in broad daylight in Chinatown, San Francisco.
June 7, 1973
Chol Soo Lee arrested entering the hotel where he lives.
June 11, 1973
Chol Soo Lee stands in line-up at the Hall of Justice. Three witnesses select Lee.
June 28, 1973
Based on the line-up identification, Chol Soo Lee is held in San Francisco for the murder of Yip Yee Tak.
Court appoints public defender, Clifford Gould, to represent Lee.
April 2, 1974
San Francisco County Superior Court moves the trial to Sacramento.
Clifford Gould withdraws from the case.
Hamilton L. Hintz, a private attorney, is appointed to defend Chol Soo Lee.
June 3, 1974
Murder trial begins in Sacramento County Superior Court, Judge Robert W. Cole presiding.
June 19, 1974
Chol Soo Lee convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Sent to Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy.
March 1977
Prison authorities erroneously classify Chol Soo Lee as member of Nuestra Familia, a Latino prison gang.
Chol Soo Lee appeals the classification and is officially cleared of having any gang affiliation.
October 8, 1977
Chol Soo Lee kills Morrison Needham in a prison yard altercation.
November 22, 1977
Kyung Won Lee contacts Chol Soo Lee regarding his situation.
December 1977
Leonard Tauman, San Joaquin County Public Defender, assigned to Chol Soo Lee to defend second murder case.
January 29, 1978
The first of two articles by Kyung Won Lee appears in the Sacramento Union questioning the verdict in the first case.
February 1978
A Chol Soo Lee Defense Committee is formed in response to the Kyung Won Lee articles.
July 7, 1978
Petition filed for a writ of Habeas Corpus to reopen the first murder case.
July 1978
Chol Soo Lee takes a two-day lie-detector test conducted by Cleve Backster.
September 15, 1978
The Chol Soo Lee Defense Committee hires Chicago Seven defense attorney, Leonard Weinglass.
October 20, 1978
Hearing for petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus begins in Sacramento County Superior Court, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton presiding.
January 15, 1979
Trial begins on the second murder case in San Joaquin Superior Court, Judge Chris Papas presiding.
February 2, 1979
Judge Karlton overturns Chinatown conviction based on the suppression of material evidence
March 12, 1979
Jury convicts Chol Soo Lee of first-degree murder for the death of Needham.
March 22, 1979
Jury sentences Chol Soo Lee to death.
May 14, 1979
Judge Papas upholds the verdict and confirms it.
March 21, 1980
Sacramento District Court of Appeals upholds writ of habeas corpus. Orders that the conviction for the first case be set aside.
July 21, 1980
San Francisco County Superior Court judge Robert W. Cole sets trial date for retrial of the first case.
Leonard Weinglass confirmed as Chol Soo Lee’s court-appointed defense attorney.
February 1982
Lead defense attorney Leonard Weinglass forced to withdraw for reasons of time and health.
Attorneys Tony Serra and Stuart Hanlon join the defense team
August 11, 1982
Retrial of the first case begins.
September 3, 1982
San Francisco County Superior Court jury acquits Chol Soo Lee of the murder of Yip Yee Tak.
January 14, 1983
California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal reversed conviction for Needham stabbing.
March 28, 1983
San Joaquin County Superior Court judge K. Peter Saiers released on property bond of $236,262.
August 10, 1983
Chol Soo Lee accepts a plea bargain and is released.


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