Pierre F. Haobsh

Pierre F. Haobsh

A triple-homicide trial started this week for the man accused of killing Santa Barbara physician Henry Han and his family in 2016.

Sheriff’s deputies were making a check-the-welfare call to the Han home on Greenhill Way on March 23, 2016, and made a grisly discovery: the bodies of Santa Barbara Herb Clinic founder Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, 57; his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily Han.

They were each found wrapped in plastic and duct tape in the garage, and autopsies determined they had all suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

Pierre F. Haobsh, 31, of Oceanside was ordered to stand trial for 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.

He was a business associate of Han, according to investigators, and was arrested in San Diego County two days after the bodies were found.

During the preliminary hearing in 2017, witnesses said Haobsh had multiple firearms in his vehicle in addition to a wallet, phones and other property belonging to Han and Yu at the time of his arrest in San Diego County.

Haobsh waived his right to a jury trial, and the case is being heard by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Brian Hill in a bench trial.

The District Attorney’s Office also agreed earlier this year to withdraw the intent to seek the death penalty in the case if Haobsh is convicted.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Detective Joel Rivlin testified Thursday about evidence found in the Han family’s home, including the three bodies in the garage. 

Prosecutors showed the video taken by sheriff’s investigators walking through the house in the early morning hours of March 24, 2016, and Rivlin described the scenes and pieces of evidence recovered.

The beds in the master bedroom and the child’s room were stripped to the mattresses, and bloody bedding was found in the home’s laundry room and washing machine, according to the video and testimony. 

Rivlin testified about finding a bullet in one of the pillows found in the washing machine, and bullet fragments in other pillows in the laundry room.

Packaging from clear plastic sheeting and duct tape was found in trash cans in the house, as were disposable gloves and bleach containers, he said. 

A bloody tooth was found on the carpeted stairs between the second and third levels of the home. 

The house had multiple points of entry that were unlocked at the time that detectives went through the house, including sliding glass doors on multiple floors, Rivlin testified. There were two ladders found in the yard near the house, according to the video. 

During cross examination from defense attorneys, Rivlin said detectives found a safe in the master bedroom closet, jewelry, $13,000 in cash, and blank checkbooks in the house, seemingly undisturbed.

The case is being prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Ladinig and Hilary Dozer, who retired from the county’s District Attorney’s Office but returned to work on this case.

Haobsh is being represented by public defenders Christine Voss and Michael Hanley.

Testimony in the case is scheduled to continue at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Superior Court. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.