Monday, June 18 , 2018, 9:23 am | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Triple-Homicide Suspect Appears in Court to Face First-Degree Murder Charges

Pierre Haobsh also is accused of special allegations that could lead to death penalty in slayings of 3 Han family members

Pierre Haobsh appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday for arraignment on three counts of first-degree murder plus special allegations in the killilngs of Dr. Weidong ‘Henry’ Han and his wife and 5-year-old daughter. The arraignment was postponed until April 12.
Pierre Haobsh appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday for arraignment on three counts of first-degree murder plus special allegations in the killilngs of Dr. Weidong ‘Henry’ Han and his wife and 5-year-old daughter. The arraignment was postponed until April 12. (Helena Day Breese / Pool photo)

The Oceanside man accused of murdering a prominent Santa Barbara doctor and his family last week in their home near Santa Barbara appeared in court for the first time Tuesday afternoon for arraignment.

Three counts of first-degree murder were filed earlier in the day against Pierre F. Haobsh, 26, along with special allegations that the offenses were willful, premeditated, and deliberate; committed by means of lying in wait; and committed for financial gain, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office.

The complaint against Haobsh also includes the special allegations of multiple homicides and use of a firearm in connection with the crimes.

Haobsh is accused of killing Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, 57; his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily Han, in their home at 4640 Greenhill Way, between Goleta and Santa Barbara, "on or about March 23."

Autopsies showed the three victims died of gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Coroner's Office. 

If found guilty on all counts, Haobsh could face the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole — a decision the District Attorney's Office said it will make in the near future, probably at the time of Haobsh's preliminary hearing.

Deputy district attorneys Hilary Dozer and Ben Ladinig are prosecuting Haobsh, who appeared in court represented by deputy public defenders Christine Voss and Mindi Boulet. 

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Raimundo Montes De Oca presided over the arraignment hearing, which was postponed to April 12. 

Judge James Herman issued an order over the weekend allowing public defender access to Haobsh, and the order was opposed by Dozer, Ladinig and Deputy County Counsel Michelle Montez. 

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense appear in Superior Court in Santa Barbara Tuesday for the arraignment of Pierre Haobsh on three counts of first-degree murder. Click to view larger
Attorneys for the prosecution and defense appear in Superior Court in Santa Barbara Tuesday for the arraignment of Pierre Haobsh on three counts of first-degree murder. (Helena Day Breese / Pool photo)

Dozer said the order should be void since Haobsh had not asked for an attorney and had not been arraigned at the time. 

Montes De Oca asked all sides to file briefs before a hearing is held on the matter. 

Haobsh was a business associate of Han, and was arrested early Friday morning in San Diego County.

Authorities say the suspect was recently involved in a business transaction with Han, who, along with his wife, operated the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic at 3886 State Street.

At a press conference Friday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown did not outline what led investigators to zero in on Haobsh as a suspect, who did not have a criminal record.

Early Monday morning, officers in a U-Haul truck were seen leaving the property. The Sheriff’s Department declined to release any information regarding it.

The Associated Press reported that Haobsh is the brother of Nadine Jolie Courtney, a fashion and beauty blogger, who confirmed the relationship in an email to the AP over the weekend. Courtney condemned the killings and expressed shock and disbelief.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies use a truck to remove evidence from the home where Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han and his wife and 5-year-old daughter were found murdered. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies use a truck to remove evidence from the home where Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han and his wife and 5-year-old daughter were found murdered. (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >