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Suspect in S.F. slayings should have been deported, ICE says

March 26, 2012 |  5:02 pm

San Francisco slaying suspect should have been deported, ICE saysA day after authorities arrested a suspect in connection with the brutal slayings of five people in a San Francisco home, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the accused killer had eluded deportation and instead had to be released from custody in 2006.

San Francisco police have connected Binh Thai Luc, 35, of San Francisco with the grotesque killings of three men and two women, who were discovered dead about 7:45 a.m. Friday by a woman who had access to the house. Officials arrested Luc on Sunday and alluded to his having a criminal history.

On Monday, officials said Luc had been taken into ICE custody in August 2006 as he was serving a prison sentence at San Quentin State Prison for assault and attempted robbery. Officials say he was ordered to be removed from the country by an immigration judge a month later, but because Vietnamese authorities declined to provide appropriate travel documents, Luc could not be deported and had to be released in December 2006.

The agency cited Supreme Court rulings and precedent in justifying its release of Luc. ICE said in a statement that continued detention is not lawful after six months when “no significant likelihood of removal exists in the reasonably foreseeable future.”

ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the agency has lodged a detainer on Luc, meaning that if he is released by police, he must be handed over to ICE authorities.


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--Matt Stevens


Photo: Binh Thai Luc. Credit: San Francisco Police Department