SAN FRANCISCO – A jury Monday found a 41-year-old man guilty of five murders in the 2012 murders of a family found beaten to death with a hammer in their San Francisco home.
The jury returned the verdict against Thai Binh Luc on Monday after six days of deliberations. Luc was also found guilty of five counts of attempted robbery and two counts of burglary.
Luc, who was said to be deeply in debt and had already served an eviction notice, was accused of killing the family in the middle of a robbery after losing money at a casino that night. Prosecutors said that the Lei family saved thousands of dollars in cash in the house, and Luc had more than $6,500 with him when he was arrested.
While there are no eyewitnesses placed Luc on the scene of the crime, the San Francisco Chronicle that the blood of one of the victims was spattered on his jeans.
He was found guilty of the killing of Hua Shun Lei, 65; his wife, Wan Yi Wu, 62; their daughter, Yang Xue Lei, 37; their son, Vincent Lei, 32; and his wife, Chia Huei Chu, 30.
Vincent Lei, the 12-year-old niece discovered the carnage in the morning, ran to the house yelling, “Mommy, bodies! Bodies!
A witness later heard the girl’s mother, Nicole Lei, on the telephone, screaming hysterically, “They took the money! The money is gone!” prosecutors said.
Lawyer Mark Goldrosen argued that someone else attacked the family, possibly a Chinatown gangster or the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims. He said prosecutors never established a motive for the gruesome crime.
Luc served almost ten years in prison for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in 1996 the armed robbery of a Chinese restaurant in San Jose. He was sentenced to be deported to his native Vietnam after his release, but the Vietnamese government, not the documents that are required for the process of his removal from the U.S., federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement said earlier.
ICE officials released him into the community in 2006.