As the trial against triple-homicide suspect Pierre Haobsh continues in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, the court heard testimony on Friday from lead investigator Sgt. Travis Henderson, an expert witness who described Haobsh’s cellular activity and web searches, and a civilian witness who had been in the Han residence just hours after their murders took place.
In the days following the discovery of the bodies of Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, 57; his wife, Huijie “Jenny” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily, a search warrant of Haobsh’s Oceanside home at 1228 Sunglow Drive led investigators to find copper caps, stainless steel washers, and steel wool in Haobsh’s bedroom, according to Henderson, similar to those found in a homemade suppressor on a gun recovered from Haobsh’s vehicle.
Henderson also said that copies of a memorandum of understanding between Han and Hoabsh were found in Haobsh’s vehicle and in the Han home. In the memorandum of understanding, signed by both on March 22, 2016, Han and Haobsh appeared to have created a company called Obsidian Teradyne LLC.
“[Haobsh] agrees to transfer $15 million as business operating capital to Obsidian Teradyne LLC,” the memorandum of understanding read.
Henderson said there was no evidence that Haobsh had $15 million.
Text messages that Haobsh sent to Han on March 6, 2016, showed Haobsh saying he was gambling in Vegas and claiming he was a “billionaire post-taxes.”
“I am not going to hide my wealth from people anymore,” the text message read. “I’ll be in your town in your area in a week. I’ll bring my Lamborghini with me to show you, and I’ll take you to see my private jet. … I haven’t sent out the CBD yet because I have been so busy and not in town. I’ll call an associate to send you the CBD, ok?”
Henderson said there also was no evidence that Haobsh had a Lamborghini or a private jet.
Other text messages that Haobsh sent to someone named Sonia showed him saying, “I just want enough money. To travel and get a home in another country,” and “It’s to [sic] expensive here.”
In cross examination, public defender Christine Voss questioned Henderson about whether investigators followed up on a report from a neighbor during their neighborhood canvas of an Asian male “lurking” around the Han mailboxes, or letters from Haobsh directed to several law enforcement agencies with different theories.
Henderson said there was no follow-up on either and that Haobsh has been the only suspect in this case. He described the letters from Haobsh as “absurd” and said they “didn’t seem realistic.”
After a lunch recess, Santina Rea, a civilian witness who had worked with Han as a secretary and janitor in his office, testified.
Rea discussed one occasion when she went to the Han residence to clean their home, since the Hans had been asking for her to do so. She said she came to clean the house midmorning on March 23, 2016, the date that investigators believe the three murders took place in the early morning hours.
Rea said that she knocked on the door, and when no one answered, she walked in to do basic cleaning in the kitchen.
Prosecutors asked her whether she brought any bleach to clean with, as multiple bottles of bleach were found left out in the home and in trash. Rea said she doesn’t think she did, since Han would normally use organic cleaning supplies; however, she could not remember for sure as, she admitted, she was high on drugs at the time.
Rea told the court that she did not go upstairs or into the garage, only the kitchen and the laundry room to get some rags. She testified that she did see some blood on clothes on the floor of the laundry room, but she didn’t think anything of it.
“There was blood, but not very much,” Rea said.
While Rea said she could not remember specific details of the day, she testified that she didn’t notice anything unusual while in the house.
Prosecutors finished their questioning of Rea by asking whether she killed anybody, to which she said no.
The final witness of the day was expert witness Jeffrey Ellis, an investigator for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office who does work with computer and mobile phone forensics.
Prosecutors and Ellis went through several AT&T records that showed cellular activity on Haobsh’s phone, as well as web search history found on Haobsh’s phone and laptop in the week leading up to the murders of the Han family.
According to web search history on his iPhone, Haobsh searched “Asian disguise” and “Asian silicone mask” on March 17, 2016.
Web search history also showed Google searches for “does bank keep photo id on file” on the same evening.
On March 21, 2016, web search history on Haobsh’s laptop showed searches for “can 22lr hollow point penetrate skull” and a discussion board on The High Road website titled “22lr enough to go through human bone/skull?”
Other web searches on the same day included “beretta 22,” “parietal lobe” and “human skull thickness.”
Ellis confirmed that photos of ammunition included in evidence showed 22 long-rifle ammunition and hollow point Federal Ammunition.
The bench trial — meaning the trial does not have a jury — is being heard by Judge Brian Hill and is scheduled to continue with more testimony from the prosecution and defense on Monday and Thursday next week.