Man pleads not guilty in slayings of 5 at CA home

Apr 5, 2012, 6:44 PM

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The suspect in the gruesome slayings of five people inside a San Francisco home pleaded not guilty to murder charges Thursday.

Binh Thai Luc, 35, entered his plea to five counts of murder, plus special circumstances of committing multiple murders, robbery, burglary and lying in wait. Luc faces the death penalty if convicted.

Luc appeared nervous and shook his head several times during the 20-minute hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.

“It’s a very emotional thing,” said Luc’s attorney Mark Goldrosen, who gently placed his hand on Luc’s back to calm him midway through the hearing. `It is a very difficult thing to stand up there for that long and listen to all the charges.”

The rail-thin and boyish-looking Luc shuffled in and out of court, his hands handcuffed in front of him and shackled around the waist.

Goldrosen said Luc was a construction worker and a member of a plumber’s union before his arrest.

Judge Samuel Feng reluctantly set bail at $25 million after initially ordering Luc held without the possibility of bail.

But to hold Luc without bail would require prosecutors to disclose enough evidence to convince the judge that Luc likely committed the murders. Prosecutor Sharon Woo said she was unwilling to do that because the investigation was still in the early stages.

“I’m still not comfortable,” the judge said in ordering the $25 million bail. Federal immigration authorities also placed a “hold” on Luc because he faces deportation if convicted. He would be placed in federal custody in the event he posts bail.

Goldrosen said Luc, who was born in Vietnam, was a legal U.S. resident before his arrest. Goldrosen took over the case after another judge barred the public defender’s office from representing Luc. Judge Lucy Kelly McCabe said the public defender’s office had a conflict because it previously represented Luc’s brother in an unrelated case. Prosecutors say Luc’s brother Brian Luc may be a witness in the murder case.

Prosecutors and police have released little information about the case, including any discussion about the murder weapon. Luc is charged only with using a “blunt instrument” to kill Yuan Ji “Vincent” Lei, 32; Lei’s parents, Hua Shun Lei, 65, and Wan Yi Xi, 62; sister Ying Xue Lei, 37; and his girlfriend Chia Huei Chu, 30. The bodies were found on March 23 by a relative at the family’s home in the city’s residential Ingleside District.

Authorities have not discussed a possible motive, but said they believe the victims were targeted.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Jury awards $21M to family of pregnant teen shot by police

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal jury awarded $21 million to the family of a pregnant teen who was shot and killed by undercover police officers in Northern California five years ago, attorneys said. Elena Mondragon was a passenger in a BMW pulling out of a Hayward apartment complex when an unmarked van filled […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

LAPD officer who died was beaten in training, mother claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer who died of neck injuries suffered during training had been beaten by fellow officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob,” according to a wrongful-death claim filed against the city by his mother. Houston Tipping, 32, was hurt May 26 at the police academy and […]
14 hours ago
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the Leaders' Retreat on the sidelines of the Com...
Associated Press

Trudeau: US abortion ruling could mean loss of other rights

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Saturday that the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a constitutional right to abortion could lead to the loss of other rights and indicated his country would continue to allow Americans to get abortions in Canada. Trudeau called the court’s decision “horrific” and voiced concern that […]
14 hours ago
FILE - Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum...
Associated Press

Alaska Supreme Court ruling keeps Sweeney off House ballot

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Supreme Court on Saturday upheld a lower court’s ruling that will keep Republican Tara Sweeney off the ballot for the August special election in Alaska’s U.S. House race. In a brief written order, the high court said it affirmed the decision of Superior Court Judge William Morse, who agreed […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Officer suspended for off-duty actions at abortion protest

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island police officer accused of punching a woman at an abortion protest while he was off-duty was suspended from his job with pay Saturday while the Providence Police Department conducts a criminal investigation into his actions. Jennifer Rourke, Rhode Island Political Cooperative Chairwoman and a state Senate candidate, told […]
14 hours ago
People celebrate outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court...
Associated Press

Abortion foes, supporters map next moves after Roe reversal

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) — Americans were taking stock a day after the Supreme Court overturned a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, as states began implementing bans and supporters and foes of abortion rights mapped out their next moves. The depth of emotion unleashed by Friday’s decision led to protests and prayer vigils across […]
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Man pleads not guilty in slayings of 5 at CA home