Lee Farley made his first court appearance on four murder charges on Aug. 1 2016 at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. (S.F. Examiner)

Lee Farley made his first court appearance on four murder charges on Aug. 1 2016 at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. (S.F. Examiner)

Quadruple homicide suspect ‘languishing’ in jail

The sole defendant facing murder charges for a January 2015 quadruple homicide had been “languishing in jail” as his case dragged on until recently because the prosecution had yet to hand over evidence necessary for his defense, said his lawyer who had been pleading for a quick transfer of evidence.

The case, which involves the killing of four young men in Hayes Valley, is one of San Francisco’s most high-profile slayings in recent years and remains in the public eye, especially since several other suspects have yet to be charged.

The Jan. 9, 2015, shooting left Manuel O’Neal, David Saucier II, Harith Atchan and Yalani Chinyamurindi dead. The men were all shot multiple times while in a car at Laguna and Page streets.

Lee Farley Jr., 27, who has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder, was arrested months ago and already lost one defense lawyer to illness in September.

But his current lawyer says his case has moved too slowly.

The District Attorney’s Office said it would hand over at least 20 discs of discovery by the end of the week as of Nov. 15, 2016, but did not, according to Farley’s attorney, Douglas Rappaport.

“Before this matter can move forward, the people must confirm whether the defense has all discovery and whether the people have intentionally withheld information given,” noted a Nov. 15 filing by Rappaport.

In a Jan. 10 filing, Rappaport wrote, “Mr. Farley has languished in custody for nearly three months and nothing has been accomplished on his case.”

But now the prosecution has finally handed over reams of documents, Rappaport said.

“I’m happy that we are moving forward. I wish I had gotten it a couple months ago,” he said.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Fleming did not respond to a call for comment.

Farley, previously a suspect in a 2009 shooting in the mid-Market area, was arrested in late July on suspicion of four counts of murder with gang enhancements in connection with the Hayes Valley killings. He had been sentenced in March 2016 to firearms-related charges and was in custody in U.S. Penitentiary, Atwater.

His next court date is Jan. 23


Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkCrimehayes valleyHomicidequadruple homicide

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