An 18-year-old Wheaton high school dropout pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter in the stabbing of another youth during a brawl between rival groups of Koreans last year.
Sung Woo Chung of 2700 Briggs Rd. could be given a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors said in Montgomery County Circuit Court that Chung was one of 16 young Koreans who met on a darkened field near Rock Creek Park in Wheaton last June to settle an old dispute over insults and smaller confrontations.
During the brief battle fought with knives, an ax, baseball bats and an Oriental flail called a nunchaku, Ung Kun Ahn, 19, was stabbed once in the stomach with a fishing knife, according to court records. Ahn, a soccer and baseball player who graduated from Woodward High School two weeks before the fight, was taken to Montgomery General Hospital, where he died of his wounds.
Another man suffered severe facial injuries in the fight, according to police.
Chung, a former student at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, was indicted in October on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Although Chung was a juvenile when the incident occurred, District Court Judge Douglas Moore waived jurisdiction over the case and ordered that he be tried as an adult at the request of prosecutors.
Barry Hamilton, assistant state's attorney for Montgomery County, said Chung agreed to plead guilty to the lesser manslaughter charge on the condition that the second-degree murder charge against him be dropped.
After Chung entered his plea yesterday through an interpreter, Judge John Mitchell released him into the custody of his parents. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 25.
Two other persons who were allegedly involved in the dispute, including a juvenile, were charged with assault with intent to maim.
Hamilton said Jin Ho Yun, 19, of 212 Congressional La. in Rockville, will be tried June 16 in Circuit Court. Yun is charged with beating Jong Hyup Yi, 21, of 4413 Faroe Ct. in Rockville, in the face with a baseball bat.