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Pinkberry co-founder found guilty of beating homeless man with tire iron

By Michael Martinez, CNN
November 9, 2013 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
Young Lee, one of the founders of the Pinkberry yogurt chain, shown during his January 2012 arraignment.
Young Lee, one of the founders of the Pinkberry yogurt chain, shown during his January 2012 arraignment.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A jury finds Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee guilty of assault with a deadly weapon
  • Lee, 49, faces up to seven years in prison
  • Lee beat a transient with a tire iron after he thought the man disrespected him
  • Lee hasn't had any involvement with Pinkberry since May 2010, firm says

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A co-founder of the Pinkberry yogurt chain was found guilty on Friday of beating a homeless man with a tire iron near downtown Los Angeles, prosecutors said.

A jury deliberated a little more than one day and found Young Lee, 49, guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, said the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

"The jury of six women and six men also found true the special allegation that the assault caused great bodily injury to the victim, who sustained a broken left forearm and several cuts to his head during the June 15, 2011, attack," the district attorney's office said in a statement.

Lee faces up to seven years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for January 14.

The victim, whose name wasn't released Friday, was panhandling on an off-ramp of U.S. Highway 101 near downtown when Lee thought the homeless man had disrespected him by exposing a sexually explicit tattoo, prosecutors said.

Lee parked his car near the off ramp, gave chase and beat the victim on his head and arm, prosecutors said.

Lee was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and carrying a loaded firearm in 2001.

After Lee's arrest in January 2012, Pinkberry released a statement in which it said he no longer has any involvement with the company, and hasn't since May 2010.

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