The three members of the Han family were found dead in their Goleta-area home three years ago, but the murder trial against the accused killer likely will not happen for another year.
Trial confirmation for Pierre Haobsh, 29, of Oceanside was pushed to Feb. 4, 2020, after a recent Santa Barbara County Superior Court hearing.
Haobsh has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder plus special allegations in the deaths of Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han, 57, founder of the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic; his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, 29; and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily.
Haobsh has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations.
Prosecutors estimate the trial will take six to eight months, according to court documents. At the latest hearing, in response to a question from Judge Brian Hill, attorneys on both sides said there are not settlement discussions at this time.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office decided to pursue the death penalty in the case, which is being prosecuted by Benjamin Ladinig and Hilary Dozer.
Haobsh is being represented by Public Defender’s Office attorneys Christine Voss and Jenny Andrews.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a check-the-welfare call at the family’s home on the 4600 block of Greenhill Way on March 23, 2016, and found the three bodies wrapped in plastic and duct tape in the garage.
All three died of gunshots to the head, according to the Coroner’s Office.
Investigators collected evidence throughout the three-story house, and detectives reportedly connected Haobsh to the case after finding a copy of a memorandum of understanding between him and Han. Prosecutors allege the crime was financially motivated.
Haobsh was arrested at gunpoint at an Oceanside gas station two days after the bodies were found, and has been held without bail in the Santa Barbara County Jail.
Detectives testified during the preliminary hearing that a search of Haobsh’s car revealed handguns and items that belonged to Han and Yu, including cell phones and a wallet.