Chicago Tribune

KOREAN-AMERICANS POST BOND FOR MOM

WOMAN ACCUSED OF TRYING TO KILL DAUGHTER FREE

By Jeff Coen and Art BarnumTribune Staff Writers
April 29, 2000
Chicago Tribune

Nearly 10 months after allegedly trying to kill her daughter with sleeping pills dipped in chocolate syrup, Chun Anderson left DuPage County Jail on Friday in the company of some of the advocates for Korean-American women who raised $50,000 to free her.

The 36-year-old Naperville mother had been in custody since July, when she was charged with attempted murder for allegedly giving her 10-year-old daughter 30 of the pills after telling the child they were candy.

Anderson then tried to take her own life with the medication, police and prosecutors have said.

The push to raise and post 10 percent of her $500,000 bond was led by Korean-American Women in Need, a Chicago social service and advocacy group.

Kyungnan Yu, a program coordinator for the organization, said Anderson, after being released, was treated to a Korean chicken lunch in the home of a supporter. .

"After reviewing her case, we came to believe that she was a victim of her environment," Yu said. "We believe she is innocent."

Anderson, a native of Korea who met and married Keith Anderson in 1987 when he was in the Army and stationed overseas, quickly hugged those who met her outside the jail shortly after noon, and then she was whisked into a waiting car.

The handful of supporters who had gathered to wait for her said Anderson's relationship with her estranged husband was less than ideal.

Keith Anderson has testified on his wife's behalf at prior court hearings, but he was not at the jail Friday.

Representatives of Korean-American Women in Need said Anderson will live with a sponsor in Hammond and will attend school in the hope of becoming a medical technician as she awaits trial.

"She had no contact with Korean culture and no contact with mainstream America," said Young Cheon-Klessing of Chicago, who waited for Anderson on Friday. "Maybe if she had, this wouldn't have happened."

Police and prosecutors have said a crumbling marriage apparently drove Anderson into an alleged attempt at murder-suicide in her home on the 1700 block of Downing Court in Naperville.

The woman and her daughter were discovered in the house July 1 in a drugged state by Keith Anderson, who had returned to the residence to pick up some belongings.

In a videotaped statement to Naperville police played in open court, Chun Anderson told detectives that her marriage was in trouble and that she wanted "no more pain" for her girl.

Attorneys in the case have clashed over the meaning of that statement, with Anderson's defenders saying it is ambiguous and accusing investigators of overreacting in the wake of the Marilyn Lemak case.

Lemak, also of Naperville, was charged with drugging and suffocating her three children three months earlier.

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