LOS ANGELES >> A San Gabriel Valley man officials say fled to Hong Kong in January after beating his two teenage nephews to death in their Arcadia home and attempting to kill his wife in La Canada Flintridge returned to Los Angeles County to face prosecution Friday afternoon.
Deyun Shi, 44, arrived at LAX Friday afternoon, escorted by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McConnell said.
“The suspect in one of our county’s most tragic cases is back in the United States and will face trial on multiple murder charges,” the sheriff said.
Shi, who is also accused of attempting to murder his wife in La Canada Flintridge just prior to killing his nephews, had been served with a restraining order in the weeks leading up to the attack and slayings.
He learned at a January 21 court hearing that his wife was seeking to divorce him, according to Deputy Lillian Peck of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“After leaving court, Suspect Shi allegedly disregarded the restraining order, went to the estranged wife’s La Canada Flintridge home, and assaulted her with a wood-splitting hammer,” Peck said. She suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, and was taken to ab area hospital.
The attack could have been worse, but the couples teenage son intervened in defense of his mother, Hernandez said.
Shi then broke into the Arcadia apartment where his sister, Vickey Huang, lived with her husband, David Lin, and their two sons 15-year-old Anthony Lin and 16-year-old William Lin, in the 400 block of Fairview Avenue, authorities allege.
Vickey Huang and her husband had gone went to the hospital late at night to check on Huang’s injured sister, leaving Anthony and William Lin asleep in their beds.
“While the injured wife and her brother and sister-in-law were at the hospital, suspect Shi allegedly drove to the Fairview Avenue home, forced entry, and fatally beat them with the tool as they lay in their beds,” Peck said.
Prosecutors described the tool used to kill the boys in court documents as a bolt cutter.
The boys’ parents arrived home in the early-morning hours and went to sleep without noticing anything amiss, Hernandez said. The mother awoke hours later to find her sons fatally bludgeoned.
Clutching pictures of his slain sons, David Lin thanked law enforcement for their work, and the community for it’s support.
“It’s been very difficult for me and by wife the past two and a half months. Every day and night, every moment, is a pain for us,” he said.
“We spent our effort, we used our love to raise these two boys. “(In) just one night, they are gone. They’re gone forever,” the father said.
In the hours that followed the killings, homicide detectives quickly identified Shi as the suspect in the attack and killings and determined he had boarded an airplane to Hong Kong,” Hernandez said.
Shi is a Chinese national who was living in the U.S. on a business visa, officials said.
With help from federal and Hong Kong authorities, Hong Kong police immediately apprehended Shi upon landing in the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, officials said.
“The entire Arcadia community was devastated by what happened to two young, innocent brothers earlier this year on Jan. 22,” Arcadia Police Chief Robert Guthrie said. “And since that day, we, alongside out law enforcement partners from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the DOJ, the State Department, Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies have worked tirelessly together to see this day through.”
Both Lin brothers were accomplished and well liked students at Arcadia High School, friends and family said.
Shi made two court appearances in Hong Kong, in which he expressed desire to return to the U.S., officials said. He did not challenge his extradition.
Deputy Lillian Peck of the sheriff’s Information Bureau described the extradition of the suspect from Hong Kong to Los Angeles County as “the first time in recent memory.”
Had Shi fled to mainland China, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S., extradition may have been impossible, Hernandez explained. Hong Kong, however, does have an extradition agreement with the U.S.
The complicated legal process of securing Shi’s return to Los Angeles County, involving local, federal and international law enforcement partners, “wasn’t easy,” McDonnell said.
“But justice will be served for the young teenage victims and a family shattered by tragedy,” McDonnell said.
VIDEO of Deyun Shi arriving at LAX courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. PHOTO of Deyun Shi Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
PHOTOS from press conference by Sarah Reingewirtz