Binh Thai Luc.jpgA man accused of killing five people in a home in San Francisco’s Ingleside neighborhood on Friday allegedly committed the murders during a robbery, according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.

Binh Thai Luc, 35, is set to make his initial appearance in court this afternoon in connection with the grisly killings of three women and two men inside a home at 16 Howth St. near City College of San Francisco.

Luc, a San Francisco resident, was arrested Sunday morning and was charged Tuesday with five counts of murder with special circumstances for committing multiple murders, district attorney’s office spokesman Omid Talai said.

According to the criminal complaint, prosecutors have also charged Luc with the special allegations that he committed the murders in the commission of robbery and burglary, and also that he used a blunt instrument to kill the victims.

The medical examiner’s office on Monday released the names of the victims. The men were identified as Hua Shun Lei, 65, and Vincent Lei, 32, while the women were identified as Wan Yi Xu, 62; Chia Huei Chu, 30; and Ying Xue Lei, 37.

Police have not confirmed reports that the elder victims were husband and wife, and that the three other victims were their daughter, son and son’s girlfriend.

Prosecutors have also alleged that Luc was lying in wait before murdering Vincent Lei.
The special circumstances make Luc eligible for the death penalty, but district attorney’s office spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said it is “very unlikely” that the district attorney will seek capital punishment.

The complaint also mentions Luc’s previous conviction in December 1997 for second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm in Santa Clara County.

The murders were reported at 7:45 a.m. Friday by a family member who entered the home and called 911 after encountering three of the bodies. Police responded and found two other victims dead in the home.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said Sunday that investigators believe Luc had a relationship with the victims but declined to elaborate.

Suhr also said Sunday that the weapon used in the killings was some type of “edged weapon” but said no murder weapon has been found.

Luc was ordered deported after serving his sentence for the 1997 conviction in Santa Clara County, but authorities in his native country of Vietnam declined to provide the appropriate travel documents for his deportation and he was ultimately released.

His arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at the San Francisco Hall of Justice.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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