Michael Thomas Graham Murder: Where is Joseph Hyungmin Son Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Death By Fame Evil Villain’ delves deep into the tragic death of incarcerated Michael Thomas Graham in 2011. When a former Hollywood actor, who had played the roles of villains, was accused of the crime, it made him look like a real-life villain as well. Apart from detailing the events that led to the demise of Michael, it also includes the courtroom showdown that followed and interviews with his close ones and officials linked directly or indirectly to the complicated case.

Michael Thomas Graham Was Found Dead in His Prison Cell

Born in the early 1960s, Michael Thomas Graham reportedly lived a meandering life and had been involved in a burglary in 1985 in Santa Clara County, one of his first run-ins with the law. He was convicted of the same before getting found guilty in an attempted lewd act against a child younger than 14 years in San Bernardino County in 1993. Since 2000, Michael failed to register as a sex offender seven times in Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Luis Obispo counties.

Image Credit: TMZ

As per his rap sheet, Michael could have been sentenced to a longer term but only received a couple of years for failing to register as a sex offender. At the age of 50, in June 2010, he was sent to the Wasco facility as a parole violator in order to serve his two-year sentence from San Luis Obispo County. After serving more than a year out of his two-year sentence, Michael had been going through a tough time and was kept on suicide watch, about 30 days prior to his unexpected and untimely demise. On October 10, 2011, Michael Thomas Graham was found beaten to death in his jail at Wasco State Prison. The authorities found him unresponsive on the lower bunk of his cell.

When the body of the 50-year-old convict was sent for further examination after a couple of days, the results showed that he had died of multiple blunt-force injuries. Reportedly, the beating seemingly occurred around 5:25 pm, after which he was taken to the Treatment and Triage area of the prison. After some 25 minutes, he was pronounced dead around 5:50 pm. The officials ruled the death as a homicide. However, Michael Thomas Graham was not named as the victim on the spot, but only after the relatives were notified of the same.

Michael Thomas Graham’s Cellmate Beat Him to Death

The 50-year-old convict, Michael Thomas Graham, used to share his Wasco State Prison cell with a fellow inmate named Joseph Hyungmin Son. Naturally, the latter was identified as the prime suspect responsible for the beating and consequent death of Michael in the prison cell. With all the evidence pointing towards the suspect, the police officers handcuffed and arrested Joseph while Graham was being medically examined.

Image Credit: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Joseph, a South Korean-born American convict, was a former mixed martial arts fighter, kickboxer, professional wrestler, and actor, who had featured in the 1997 spy comedy movie ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which was directed by Jay Roach. While donning a bowler hat, he portrayed one of Dr. Evil’s henchmen, Random Task, who was a parody of the James Bond character Odd Job. Prior to that, he had also played a few roles in some low-budget action movies, such as ‘Joshua Tree’ and ‘Bloodfist V: Human Target.’ Moreover, he took on the role of the leading villain in the 1994 action movie ‘Bad Blood.’

In 2008, Joseph was linked to a 1990 gang rape for the first time, and three years later, in 2011, he was sentenced to seven years to life in prison for the same. The same year he received the imprisonment sentencing, Joseph was charged with the murder of his cellmate, Michael Thomas Graham. Right after the murder, Joseph was transferred to solitary confinement. After a couple of years, on September 13, 2013, he was charged with the murder of Michael.

Joseph Hyungmin Son Remains Behind Bars

Already held up in prison, Joseph Hyungmin Son’s trial for the murder of Michael Thomas Graham commenced in 2017, six years after the latter took his last breath in his prison cell. During the trial, it was argued that Michael also played a part in igniting the altercation that resulted in his death. Joseph’s public defender, T. Alan Rogers, requested the court for a lesser prison term as Joseph had pleaded no contest plea to voluntary murder after the prosecutors demanded a death penalty against him.

Rogers stated during the trial, “Bad things happen when you have an individual on psychotropic medications and on suicide watch and force another person in a cell with him.” However, despite the attempts to defend Joseph Hyungmin Son, the jury found him guilty of the murder of Michael and convicted him of the same. Thus, he received 27 years of additional prison time. Meanwhile, he did not show any emotions or reactions. At present, he is currently serving his sentence at California State Prison in Los Angeles County, California.

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