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

Suspect in quadruple Hayes Valley homicide makes first court appearance

The 27-year-old man charged with murder in connection with a quadruple homicide in Hayes Valley early last year appeared in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday shackled and flanked by two deputies but did not enter a plea.

Lee Farley, who was dressed in an orange sweatshirt and pants, towered over his court-appointed lawyer Eric Safire, when his arraignment was put over to Wednesday. In an unusual move for a suspect appearing in court, one of the deputies guarding Farley was armed with an Arwen, which shoots a rubber pellet the size of a thumb.

The Jan. 9, 2015, killings at Page and Laguna streets shook the community linked to the four victims: Manuel O’Neal, David Saucier II, Harith Atchan, and Yalani Chinyamurindi. The victims were all shot multiple times in the early evening incident, and were found in a car.

Authorities have not said whether Farley killed all four men, but they have said there were four weapons used in the crime. He was arrested Friday on suspicion of four counts of murder with gang enhancements.

Farley, a suspect in the Hayes Valley killings for more than a year, had been sentenced in March to firearms-related charges and was in custody in U.S. Penitentiary, Atwater, prior to his transfer to San Francisco County Jail.

Family members of the four men who Farley allegedly took part in killing filled the courtroom during the brief appearance just before 2 p.m.

Sala-Haquekyah Chandler, the mother of Chinyamurindi, said Monday that she’s thankful an arrest has been made in the case but claimed that more suspects remain at large.

“I am thankful for the arrest. I am thankful for all of the work [of] Capt. Sanders and everyone that has assisted,” she said of the investigation. “However, I am mostly concerned…about the three other [suspected] murderers that are out there on the streets. They also must be brought in for justice for our four boys.”

Chandler added that pressure from her and the community played a part in making sure the case came to court.

Farley’s lawyer Safire said he has yet to see the detailed charges in the case, but expects Farley will enter a plea of not guilty Wednesday.

Farley, a San Francisco resident, was previously suspected in a 2009 mid-Market area shooting.


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