Harpswell man gets 6½ years for high-speed car chase, probation revocation

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 02, 2011, at 8:20 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Harpswell man is being sent back to prison after pleading guilty Friday to multiple criminal charges in Hancock County Superior Court.

Hyunkook Korsiak, 30, pleaded guilty to eight counts, including receiving stolen property, eluding an officer, criminal speed and theft. As a result, he was sentenced by Justice Kevin Cuddy to serve six and a half years in prison, four of which stem from a probation revocation on a 2001 robbery conviction.

Korsiak has been in jail in Ellsworth since leading police on two high-speed chases on Jan. 10 through eastern Hancock County in two different stolen Saabs.

Police had been on the lookout for a Saab that reportedly had been involved in a Dec. 30, 2010, robbery attempt in Ellsworth when they received a tip on Jan. 10 that the car had been spotted in Harrington. A short time later, a state police trooper driving on Route 182 came across the Saab and tried to pull it over. Korsiak, who was behind the wheel, sped off westward toward Franklin, reaching estimated speeds of nearly 130 mph.

Police gave chase and Korsiak crashed the vehicle in Franklin at the intersection of routes 182 and 200. Another man who had been riding in the Saab with Korsiak was caught by police at the accident scene.

Before police could apprehend Korsiak, he stole another Saab from a nearby home and sped off on Route 200 through Eastbrook and then south on Route 179 into Ellsworth, where police gave chase again. Korsiak then pulled over in Ellsworth and surrendered peacefully to police.

Korsiak subsequently was charged with two counts of eluding police, two counts of criminal speed, and one count each of receiving stolen property, aggravated criminal mischief, and theft. He was suspected in the Ellsworth robbery attempt and of stealing the first Saab, which had been reported stolen from a Brunswick car dealer, but was never charged in either of those crimes.

For the seven chase-related charges Korsiak pleaded guilty to on Friday, he received a sentence of two and a half years in prison.

Korsiak also pleaded guilty to another charge of theft stemming from a Nov. 24, 2010, incident in Portland in which he stole a Rolex watch worth $4,800 from the Swiss Time watch shop. On Friday, Korsiak was ordered to pay $4,435 in restitution for the stolen watch, which was never recovered.

The four-year probation revocation and the one-year sentence for stealing the watch, which originate out of Cumberland County, will be served concurrently. Korsiak then will have to serve another consecutive 30 months on the Hancock County charges stemming from the chase, for a grand total of six and a half years behind bars.

At the time of his 2001 robbery conviction, Korsiak was on probation for several convictions including theft, burglary and negotiating a worthless instrument, according to records from the Maine Bureau of Identification. In 2001, Korsiak was ordered to serve six years behind bars for the robbery plus an additional four years for violating his probation for a total of 10 years. He only recently had gotten out of prison when he started committing crimes again late last year, according to officials.

After he is released, Korsiak will have to serve three years of probation and will have another five years in prison hanging over his head if he violates it. The five years represent a fully suspended sentence on a 2001 aggravated assault conviction, which also originates in Cumberland County. Korsiak had been convicted of that crime, but had not served any of that sentence, when he led police on the high-speed chase in Hancock County.

In addition to the $4,435 restitution for the Rolex watch, Korsiak was ordered to pay $3,667 in restitution for damage to the Saab he wrecked in Franklin, and $200 in restitution for the second stolen Saab to pay for an alignment that car needed after being driven at high speeds on routes 200, 179, and 1A.

Korsiak spoke only briefly to Cuddy during Friday’s sentencing, telling the judge he was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was adopted and raised in Maine. He said he attended college for “a couple of years” but did not graduate. He declined to comment about his criminal behavior or the court proceedings.

Korsiak’s attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, said after the proceeding that the sentence had been agreed upon in negotiations between himself and Assistant Hancock County District Attorney Mary Kellett and on Friday was accepted by Cuddy.

“We agree to the sentence,” McKee said.

Kellett said after the sentencing that the two and half years Korsiak received for the car chase is longer than what most defendants receive for similar class C crimes. The overall six and a half years he received, she said, are indicative of Korsiak’s history of repeat criminal behavior.

“He got the bump,” she said, referring to his relatively lengthy sentence. “It reflects the seriousness of his criminal record.”

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http://bangordailynews.com/2011/12/02/news/hancock/harpswell-man-gets-6%c2%bd-years-for-high-speed-car-chase-probation-revocation/ printed on July 23, 2014