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DA Still Deciding Whether to Seek Death Penalty in Han Family Murders

Pierre Haobsh Click to view larger
Pierre Haobsh

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has not decided whether to pursue the death penalty in the case against an Oceanside man accused of murdering a Santa Barbara doctor and his family.

Pierre Haobsh, 27, was charged with 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.

Superior Court Judge Brian Hill held Haobsh to answer to the charges after a preliminary hearing, and his arraignment scheduled for Tuesday was continued until Sept. 19.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley said she has not yet made a decision on whether to pursue the death penalty in the case.

The decision doesn’t have to be made until trial, so prospective jurors know whether they have to consider the death penalty in their deliberations, Dudley said.

In her seven years as District Attorney, Dudley has never pursued the death penalty.

“And when I first came into office there was a death penalty case and I took that off the table,” she said.

“If it is a death penalty case, it would be the first death penalty case I pursue.”

Haobsh is accused of killing Santa Barbara Herb Clinic founder Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, 57; his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily Han.

The victims' bodies were found wrapped in plastic and tape in the garage of their home on the 4600 block of Greenhill Way near Goleta on March 23, 2016.

Autopsies determined that all three died from gunshots to the head.

During the preliminary hearing, law enforcement officers said Haobsh was a business associate of Han, and a memorandum of understanding between the men was found at the victims’ home.

Authorities also said the alleged murder weapons and victims’ belongings were found in a search of Haobsh’ car after his arrest.  

Haobsh previously pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being represented by deputy public defenders Christine Voss and Mindi Boulet.

The case is being prosecuted by Hilary Dozer and Benjamin Ladinig.  

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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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