A Vietnamese plumber was found guilty of killing a family of five family in San Francisco back in March 2012, but a defense attorney claimed there might be other culprits involved.
Binh Thai Luc, 41, physically assaulted, stabbed and choked a family of three women and two men in their Ingleside residential neighborhood home located at 16 Howth Street.
According to ABC News, Luc was guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, attempted robbery including two counts of burglary.
Luc’s victims included longtime friend, 32-year-old Vincent Lei, along with his 30-year-old wife Chia Huei Chu, his 37-year-old sister Ying Xue Lei, his 65-year-old father Hua Shun Lei and his 62-year-old mother Wan Yi Xu. Their bodies were only unearthed after Lei’s sister, Nicole, visited the house at 7:45 a.m. on March 13 to collect an item for her 12-year-old daughter.
Defense Attorney Mark Goldrosen insisted that Luc obtained money by selling stolen goods as there was evidence that the house was ransacked. However, the suspect, also known as “Ping”, was acquitted of robbery charges since the $6,500 found on him during his arrest couldn’t be directly traced to any of his victims.
Goldrosen revealed that there might be other culprits in the murder case that remain at large.
“There were four fingerprints that were found in the house that were found to not match Mr. Luc or any of the decedents,” Goldrosen explained.
On the other hand, Attorney George Gascon was pleased with the results of the Vietnamese suspect’s grueling seven-week trial.
“This was a very gruesome, brutal murder and we’re pleased that we’re getting some accountability for the family and the community,” Gascon stressed.
It’s reported that Luc received a 14-day eviction notice before the incident, but was able to give his mother $1,000 worth of rent money on the night the murders took place. Luc was set to receive his sentencing date during a court hearing on Tuesday morning.
What’s more concerning is that Luc was already sentenced to over 11 years in state prison in 1998 for armed robbery and assault charges but was later released, according to Fox News. Vietnamese officials refused to provide the documents required for his deportation, which led to his release in 2006.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputy press secretary Gillian Christensen explained that a Supreme Court ruling in 2001 prevented Luc from extending his detention, and he was eventually released 180 days later.
While the suspect was required to report to immigration officials following his release, he was never arrested again from 2006 to 2012.
“Unfortunately there are some countries that people are very difficult to remove people to, and Vietnam is one of those countries,” Christensen added.