As the trial for triple-murder suspect Pierre Haobsh enters its fourth week in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Haobsh took the stand and began testifying Monday afternoon to talk about how he came to know Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han.
Haobsh, 31, is accused of killing Han, 57, founder of Santa Barbara Herb Clinic; Han’s wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old-daughter Emily in March 2016. He has been charged with three first-degree murder charges with special allegations that the murders were premeditated, willful and deliberate; committed by means of lying in wait; and committed for financial gain.
Sheriff’s personnel discovered the Han family’s bodies in their Greenhill Way home near Goleta and investigators arrested Haobsh, who was a business associate of Han’s.
When Haobsh was arrested at gunpoint in San Diego County two days after the bodies were discovered, investigators found evidence in his car including two guns, Han’s wallet and cell phones belonging to Han and Yu, according to court testimony.
One of Haobsh’s friends at the time testified in late October that Haobsh confessed the killings to him and asked for help moving the bodies.
Deputy Public Defender Christine Voss began calling defense witnesses last week and on Monday, Haobsh took the stand.
Voss asked Haobsh questions about his early life, schooling, and work experience which led to Han and Haobsh working together.
Haobsh said he was born in Texas and has lived in many places across the United States, including Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts — where he attended boarding school — and California.
He added that his mother passed away from cancer when he was “around the age of 18.”
Haobsh said that when he was 16, he became very interested in researching magnetic fields and energy.
He also interested in several other scientific fields including computer programming, laser machinery, and chemistry.
While Haobsh did not go to college, he said he would often visit the technical library at Arizona State University and learned while on jobs.
This led him to later work with a man named Bill Michaels in 2012 in Tempe, Arizona, at Revolutionary Energy Machines.
According to Haobsh, the company paid him about $15,000 per month and gave him a sports car as a sign-on bonus.
Haobsh said he left this project in 2014 after the Department of Energy got involved in his energy research, according to his trial testimony.
He and Kang Hsu, who he met while working at Revolutionary Energy Machines, started brainstorming new business ideas in chemistry pharmaceuticals and landed on a business to research and produce synthetic CBD.
Haobsh testified that he met Han once while he was still working with Revolutionary Energy Machines in Arizona, and Hsu was the one who brought Han in to work with them on the synthetic CBD business, which they called Molecular Scientific.
Haobsh said Han funded the project and paid them for their work, even though Han was not personally involved during the entire process.
“(Han) wanted to offer better products for his patients in the clinic,” Haobsh testified, referencing Han’s Santa Barbara Herb Clinic.
Haobsh said that he and Han worked together on and off since 2014, working with CBD and cannabinoids, as well as working on a cancer drug another time.
Haobsh is scheduled to continue testifying when the bench trial continues Tuesday in Judge Brian Hill’s courtroom.
— Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.