A man accused of killing five people at a home in San Francisco’s Ingleside neighborhood last month is set to return to court Thursday to be arraigned on multiple murder charges.
Binh Thai Luc, 35, is being held without bail on charges that he murdered three women and two men at a home at 16 Howth St. near City College of San Francisco on March 23.
Prosecutors charged Luc with five counts of murder and special circumstances alleging multiple murders, committing murder in the commission of robbery and burglary, using a blunt instrument to kill the victims, and lying in wait before killing one of the victims, Vincent Lei, 32.
The medical examiner’s office has identified the other man killed as 65-year-old Hua Shun Lei and the women as Wan Yi Xu, 62, Chia Huei Chu, 30, and Ying Xue Lei, 37.
Luc, who was arrested on March 25, made his initial appearance in court last week but did not enter a plea because of a battle over who would represent him, the public defender’s office or a private attorney who is part of a panel that handles cases in which the public defender has a conflict of interest.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi argued that his office should be allowed to represent Luc even though it represented his brother, Brian Luc, in a DUI and firearm case in which he was put on probation last September.
Brian Luc was also arrested on March 25, the same day as his brother, on unrelated drug and weapons charges. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday.
Adachi argued that his office no longer represented Brian Luc once he was sentenced in the prior DUI case, but prosecutors objected, saying there was a conflict of interest because he was potentially an important prosecution witness in his brother’s murder case.
A judge sided with the prosecution, assigning private attorney Mark Goldrosen to the case. Adachi has filed a petition for a writ to allow his office to represent Luc and his spokeswoman said if that petition is denied, he will appeal to the state Court of Appeal.
Binh Luc is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Thursday at the San Francisco Hall of Justice.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News