Prostitute details events leading up to physician's death
Witness says man was pistol-whipped by another of her 'sugar daddies'
A Yuba City woman who acknowledged making her living from prostitution gave lurid testimony Thursday at a preliminary hearing about events leading up to the September death of physician Hyo Seoung Shin.
Sarah Janeen Garibay said Shin, whom she knew as Johnny, was one of at least three "sugar daddies" she had — not including the man charged with murdering him, 49-year-old Jeffrey Wayne Clay of Sebastopol.
Shin was found mortally injured Sept. 3 behind Garibay's Shasta Street apartment.
After testimony from a pathologist about the nature of Chin's injuries, the District Attorney's Office may consider a second-degree murder charge, though a first-degree murder charge is still possible, Deputy District Attorney Cameron King said. The hearing will resume today in Sutter County Superior Court.
Wearing a short skirt and low-cut top, Garibay arrived in court with a police escort because Clay allegedly solicited a fellow inmate in the Sutter County Jail to kill her.
Garibay received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony, and a charge against her of being an accessory in Shin's death has been dropped, King told Sutter County Judge Brian Aronson.
Garibay, 29, said she met the 64-year-old Shin about 18 months ago at Temptations, a Linda strip club, where his attraction to younger women was apparent.
Garibay testified "sparks flew" when she met Clay in June at a restaurant in Yuba City. She did not tell him about Shin and her other "sugar daddies," she said.
By Sept. 3, Clay had begun referring to her as his wife and was showing signs of being possessive when she took calls from other men or dressed provocatively, Garibay testified.
Shin visited her apartment the night of Sept. 3 and was lying on her bed in his underwear while she searched for appropriate music on a clock radio so she could dance and strip for him, Garibay said.
Garibay said she heard her front door open and saw Clay walking down a hallway toward her bedroom.
Clay said, "Honey, I'm home" in a "very sarcastic voice," then jumped on Shin and began pistol-whipping his head with a semiautomatic pistol.
Assuming a fetal position, Shin put his arms over his head and apologized to Clay, according to Garibay.
Clay put the gun barrel in Shin's mouth and said, "What gives you the right to think you can touch my wife?" and used a racial epithet, Garibay said.
Garibay said she screamed for Clay to stop, but then left to pick up her daughter at school. When she returned, Clay was coming out of the bedroom. A baseball bat that she normally kept near the front door was leaning against a wall outside the bedroom, she said.
Garibay said she heard a sliding glass door in the bedroom being opened. Clay said Shin had "jumped down" from the second-floor apartment, she said.
Forensic pathologist Gregory Reiber testified later Thursday that Shin's injuries, including a broken pelvis and damaged arteries, resulted from falling onto a concrete patio below the balcony outside Garibay's bedroom. Marks on Shin's arms, rather than defensive wounds, came from shingles on the balcony wall as he tried to ease himself to the patio, Reiber said.
Shin died at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento about 14 hours after he was found in a sitting in pool of blood on the patio. A downstairs tenant heard him calling for help.
Clay's attorney, Kim Ryan, said outside the courtroom that Garibay was lying on the witness stand about Clay beating Shin in order to protect herself. Garibay, who admitted on the witness stand to having past physical fights with men, could be the one who assaulted Shin, said Ryan.
Garibay testified that when she drove past her apartment building later that night and saw police officers inside, she figured Shin had called them.
Immediately after Shin went over the balcony, she was concerned only about herself, not about what had happened to him, she said.
Garibay said her main goal afterward was to "get (expletive) up." The next morning when contacted by police, she was under the influence of alcohol, Percocet pills and marijuana, she said.
Garibay and Clay went voluntarily the next morning to the Yuba City Police Department. At first she lied to detectives, going along with an "absurd" version of events concocted by Clay. But then, after being arrested and handcuffed and hearing the extent of Shin's injuries, she told the truth, she said.
"I was in love with him," she said about Clay. "I still love him to this day. It's very hard for me to up here" on the witness stand.
Garibay said she receives all her income from "sugar daddies" but doesn't see herself as a prostitute.
"I like to have sex with married men. It turns me on," she said.
CONTACT reporter Rob Young at 749-4710 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.