The prosecutors changed the charge against Jungin's adoptive mother to murder as they believe that the adoptive mother exerted power, fully aware that the child could die. However, the adoptive mother still denies the allegations saying she had no intention of killing Jungin.
In the first hearing of Jungin's adoptive parents held at the Seoul Southern District Court on the morning of the 13th, the prosecution applied a change in the indictment to charge the adoptive mother for murder. The prosecution applied the murder charges as the primary charges changing the former charges of child abuse. Hence, the prosecution has requested the court to charge the adoptive mother with murder, and if it is not proven, to apply charges of child abuse. The punishment for murder is twice as severe as the punishment for child abuse.
The prosecution presented expert opinion and the results of the psychological analysis on the adoptive mother as evidence. Four medical experts and organizations stated that strong external forces were applied to the abdomen causing abdominal damage such as the ruptured pancreas leading to excessive internal bleeding. These injuries would be caused by strong external forces such as being stepped on and kicked. Approximately 600 mL of blood was found in Jungin's abdomen; in turn, the prosecution was able to apply charges of murder due to willful negligence. The prosecution stated that they had to conduct profiling on the adoptive mother during the investigation but was not able to receive the results in time due to COVID19. Hence, they had to first request child abuse charges during the arrest period and change to murder charges later.
The adoptive parent's lawyer denied all charges of both murder and child abuse during the trial. The lawyer stated, "On the day of the child's death, the victim did not eat, so the adoptive mother only pushed the child on her stomach and back. The mother accidentally dropped the child while shaking her as she lost hold due to the aftereffects of breast surgery. There is no evidence that she used strong force enough to break the child's pancreas. Furthermore, there may be accidental causes such as dropping and hitting, but the defendant did not intentionally cause the child's death."
Many citizens gathered in front of the court this day holding pickets and signs saying "Jungin, we're sorry," "Jungin's adoptive parents deserve life in prison," and "They are the devils." At the hearing, cheers erupted outside the court when the prosecution reported that they are requesting murder charges against Jungin's adoptive mother.
Around 11:50 AM, Jungin's adoptive parents left the court as large groups of citizens flocked toward them. Citizens followed the vehicle of the adoptive parents and knocked on the windows throwing snow at them. A physical fight broke out when many citizens gathered, trying to reveal the faces of the adoptive mother and father of Jungin. The next trial against the adoptive parents will be held on February 17th.