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Pierre Haobsh to Stand Trial on Murder Charges in Han Family Triple-Homicide Case

Defendant will be arraigned June 23 on charges he killed a Santa Barbara physician and his family

Pierre Haobsh appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court in April 2016 for arraignment in the murders of Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, his wife and daughter. At the end of a preliminary hearing Friday, Haobsh was ordered to stand trial on three counts of first-degree murder.
Pierre Haobsh appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court in April 2016 for arraignment in the murders of Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, his wife and daughter. At the end of a preliminary hearing Friday, Haobsh was ordered to stand trial on three counts of first-degree murder. (Pool photo / Paul Wellman, Santa Barbara Independent)

At the end of a three-day preliminary hearing, Pierre Haobsh was ordered Friday to stand trial on murder charges in the 2016 slayings of Santa Barbara physician Weidong “Henry” Han and his family.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill ruled that there was enough evidence to support each charge sought by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Haobsh, 28, will face three counts of first-degree murder and special allegations that the offenses were willful, premeditated and deliberate; committed by means of lying in wait; and committed for financial gain.

Haobsh will be arraigned in Hill’s courtroom on June 23.

The bodies of Han, 57, his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29, and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily, were discovered the evening of March 23, 2016, by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies who were dispatched on a check-the-welfare call to their home at 4640 Greenhill Way near Goleta.

Authorities had been alerted by business associates of Han after he missed a meeting with them.

The three victims were found in the garage of the three-story home, wrapped in plastic and bound with duct tape.

Friday was the last day of Haobsh’s preliminary hearing to determine which charges he’ll stand for, and began with graphic testimony from Dr. Manuel Montez, a forensic pathologist in the county Coroner’s Office, who conducted the autopsies.

Montez said that for all three victims, the manner of death was homicide, with the cause being gunshot wounds to the head.

He said his autopsies found that the three gunshot wounds each sustained by Han and Yu and the eight inflicted on their daughter were from small .22-caliber ammunition.

Criminalist David Barber of the California Department of Justice’s crime lab, who performed the ballistics tests, testified that bullet casings found at the crime scene were fired by a gun later found to be in Haobsh’s possession.

On Wednesday, sheriff’s Detective Joel Rivlin testified that there were no signs of forced entry into the Hans’ home.

Crime scene photographs showed a trail of evidence throughout the house, and it appeared that some clean-up efforts had been started but clearly hadn’t been finished.

Sheriff’s personnel testified that in the early morning hours of March 25, the county dispatch center got a call from a man who claimed Haobsh had confessed the murders to him.

They said the man, Thomas “TJ” Derida, mentioned to them that Haobsh said he had done it for $20 million in Han’s bank account, which he could access with Han's phone.

On Thursday, Senior Deputy Dennis Thomas testified that detectives were tailing Haobsh and his father, Frederick Smith, shortly before his arrest in Oceanside.

Authorities discovered numerous items in Haobsh’s car, including Han’s and Yu’s iPhones, a credit card in Han’s name, an iPad and wallet of his, and a business memorandum of understanding between Han and the defendant. There were also two guns and ammunition.

Also found in Haobsh’s vehicle was a receipt, dated March 20, 2016, from The Home Depot in Oceanside. Among the items purchased were plastic sheeting, duct tape, a soldering kit and power tools.

Detectives testified that Han and Haobsh had had business dealings together.

Bank records shown in court Friday revealed that in March 2016, tens of thousands of dollars had been moved from a Wells Fargo account in Han’s name to a Chase account in his name — much of which, Christine Voss, one of Haobsh’s attorneys, noted, was completed after her client’s arrest.

On March 23, 2016, $5,000 had been sent from Han’s Chase account to a Chase account of Haobsh’s.

A screenshot on Haobsh’s phone also showed a Chase login page featuring a credential resembling a Han email address.

Web searches found to have been conducted on the defendant’s phone included Wells Fargo, how to change passwords, whether cars are searched in Tijuana, how cars can be tracked by authorities, how crime scenes and fingerprints are analyzed, and how fingerprints show up on plastic.

Retired veteran prosecutor Hilary Dozer and Senior Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Ladinig are handling the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

Haobsh is represented by deputy public defenders Voss and Mindi Boulet.

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.

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