3 Life Sentences for Murder of Herbalist and Family

Prosecutor says Pierre Haobsh 'has no possibility of ever being released'
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2022 6:15 PM CDT
Santa Barbara Judge Gives Killer 3 Life Sentences
FILE - This Friday, March 25, 2016 police mug file photo released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office shows Pierre Haobsh. Haobsh, 26, of Oceanside, Calif, was convicted of three counts of first-murder in the slaughter of the family of a Chinese herbalist, including his 5-year-old daughter.   (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

A judge in Santa Barbara last week sentenced murderer Pierre Haobsh to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. Haobsh was found guilty in November of carrying out the brutal 2016 murders of Dr. Henry Lan—a well-known Chinese herbalist—his wife, Jennie Yu, and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily. Per SF Gate, the victims' bodies were found wrapped in plastic with multiple gunshot wounds. The clues all led straight to Haobsh, who was apparently trying to enter a business arrangement with Lan; regardless, prosecutors said his motive was greed, and evidence showed that Haobsh stole Lan’s account and Social Security numbers and then transferred $100,000 to his own account after the murders.

According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, the case marked the first time District Attorney Joyce Dudley’s office has sought the death penalty. However, prosecutors backed off after a deal with the defense, in which Haobsh waived his right to a jury trial. In a bench trial last fall, the judge’s verdict included three first-degree murder convictions with special circumstances: “that the murders were committed for financial gain and that multiple victims were involved," per KSBY News. Haobsh continued to deny responsibility during the sentencing.

SF Gate reports that Haobsh was a "bizarre figure in the Hans' orbit." His father "was a Jordanian-born US citizen hired by the CIA in the late 1980s ... to meet with Saddam Hussein’s weapons-procurement officers,” according to reporting by the Santa Barbara Independent in 2017. Around the same time, his sister, Nadine Jolie Courtney, "a beauty blogger and author," condemned the killings and said she was praying for the family, per the AP. Supervising DA Ben Ladinig told KEYT News that Haobsh “has no possibility of ever being released. He will literally die in prison." (More life sentence stories.)

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