SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office revealed on Monday, December 11 that a jury found Binh Thai Luc, 41, of San Francisco, guilty of five counts of murder, five counts of attempted robbery in the first degree, and two counts of burglary in the first degree with special circumstances for lying in wait and the commission of multiple homicides. The suspect faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“The gruesomeness of these murders is an atrocity San Franciscans will not soon forget,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “An entire family was bludgeoned, a community was scared, and while I praise the jury’s verdict, there is no sentence that can undo the damage that this man did.”
According to court records, on March 22, 2012, at approximately 11:00 p.m., decedent Vincent Lei, 32, was with friends when he received a call from his wife, decedent Chia Huei Chu. Ms. Chu explained that Luc was looking for Vincent. During this call, Ms. Chu handed the phone to Luc, who spoke with Vincent. Vincent informed Luc that he was on his way home and told his friends that Luc was waiting at his house and was looking for him. Vincent returned home at around midnight.
At approximately 2:00 a.m., residents near Vincent’s home heard loud noises, yelling, and commands to get down on the ground. At approximately 7:30 or 7:45 a.m. on March 23, Vincent’s 12-year old niece, who had stopped by the Lei home with her mother on her way to school, discovered the slain bodies of her family. They included Hua Shun Lei, 65, his wife, Wan Yi Wu, 62, their children, Ying Xue Lei, 37, and Vincent Lei, 32, and Vincent’s wife, Chia Heui Chu, 30. The victims’ bodies were stabbed and bludgeoned with the claw and flat side of a hammer and found in four different areas of their home. Vincent Lei had was also strangled.
Luc’s DNA was found throughout the home, connecting him to each of the victims. His fingerprint was also found on a Windex bottle inside the kitchen. The DNA of Vincent Lei, Vincent’s wife, and Luc were found on the suspect’s jeans which were later discovered at his residence. Vincent’s DNA was also found inside Luc’s car.
Luc made unsuccessful efforts to conceal and destroy evidence at the Lei home by dousing it with bleach, soap, cooking oil, lotion, paint and other household cleaning items. Plumbing fixtures were dismantled causing water to flood the home. Despite efforts to conceal evidence, Luc’s DNA remained in multiple places at the crime scene.
On the day of the murders, Luc’s bank records showed his balance to be $1.01. Activity on his account further showed that he recently lost money gambling at Artichoke Joe’s Casino. He had also fallen behind on his rent and was facing eviction.
On March 25, 2012, Luc was arrested at a San Mateo motel with $6,500 in his possession. When he was arrested, he was sitting at a computer reading news articles about the crime scene.
“Binh Luc did not share blood or DNA with the Lei’s, yet it was all over their home, their bodies, and their belongings,” said Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming. “Although very little can undo the pain that his brutal acts have caused, the jury’s verdict provides some measure of closure for this family.”
The Honorable Carol Yaggy presided over the case, which was a successful prosecution with the assistance from the SFPD’s Homicide, Crime Scene Investigations, Special Investigations, and Crime Lab units. The SFDA’s Office also thanked former prosecutor Lindsay Hoopes for her pre-trial litigation assistance, SFPD Homicide Inspectors Daniel Dedet and Kiera Delaney, District Attorney Investigations, Paralegals Tony Yu and Valerie Blasi, Victim Service Advocate Peter Huynh, IT Support Staff, and law clerks Belicio Mendez, Ashley Depirest, and Megan Hamilton.
This was the last case Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming prosecuted as an SFDA prosecutor. ADA Fleming is leaving the SFDA Office to join the bench, after being appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in November 2017.