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Uncle convicted of murder after fatally beating two nephews

A man from the San Gabriel Valley has been found guilty of murder by an Alhambra court on Wednesday for bludgeoning his two nephews to death in a tragic incident that began with an attack on his wife in 2016.

Deyun Shi, 52, was convicted on two counts of murder with a special circumstance for using a deadly weapon in the deaths of 15-year-old Anthony Lin and 16-year-old William Lin. Additionally, he was found guilty of one felony count of injuring his then-spouse, Yujin “Amy” Lin.

However, there are shocking allegations from relatives that suggest Shi’s wife may have been provoking him to act violently for her own financial gain.

Meanwhile, Shi and his legal team were back in court on Thursday attempting to establish an insanity defense. A call to Shi’s defense team was not immediately returned.

The events that took place on Jan. 21, 2016, and into the early hours of the following morning were not disputed. Shi had learned that Lin was filing for divorce that afternoon, according to court documents.

After leaving a Pasadena courthouse where a restraining order made by his mother-in-law against him was being discussed, Shi initiated wire transfers totaling just under $450,000 to individuals in his hometown in China.

Later that night, Shi assaulted his wife at their family home in La Cañada Flintridge, resulting in injuries that included a fractured nose and a slashed face. Their teenage son managed to disarm Shi before he left the house.

Shi then drove to the Arcadia home of his brother- and sister-in-law, where he brutally attacked and killed Anthony Lin with a pair of bolt cutters, and then proceeded to beat 16-year-old William Lin to death with a lead pipe, according to prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney MacKenzie Teymouri stated in court that detectives found the murder weapons wrapped in a towel in Shi’s car with DNA evidence belonging to both Anthony and William. Shi even received a parking ticket while inside committing the heinous acts.

Despite the evidence, Shi’s lawyers argued that he was suffering from a schizoaffective disorder and post-traumatic stress triggered by the divorce proceedings.

Following the killings, Shi packed a travel bag containing multiple foreign currencies and IDs from different countries, and then boarded a flight to Hong Kong. He was apprehended by Hong Kong police and extradited back to California after assurances were made to Chinese officials regarding the death penalty.

Shi’s defense attorney Vicki Podberesky emphasized in court that he did not have the mental capacity to commit such crimes due to his mental health condition. However, the prosecution presented testimony suggesting a history of violent behavior against his wife leading up to the tragic incident.

David Lin and Huang, the victims’ parents, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Shi and Yujin Lin, alleging that Yujin Lin orchestrated a plan to incite Shi’s violent actions for financial gain. It’s claimed that she wanted to control the marital properties in the United States and China by having Shi incarcerated.

The wrongful death trial has been put on hold pending the conclusion of the criminal case and is expected to resume on April 22.

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Forest Lawn Drive now free of RV encampment and parking

Nancy Sexton was thrilled when city crews cleared out more than 50 RVs in December that had been parked near her business for months, blocking parking spots and leaving behind trash and waste on Forest Lawn Drive.

Then she realized the long stretch of road near Barham Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills was suddenly off limits for not just parked RVs, but all parked vehicles. Much of the curb was painted red. No parking signs lined the sidewalk.

“It’s a dumb decision,” said Sexton, who owns the Muse Rooms, which offers leased office spaces. “It’s frustrating.”

The more than 50 RVs, which had been stationed along the winding road for months as a semi-permanent living encampment, were removed in December as part of the city’s operation known as Inside Safe. One goal of the program, which is part of Mayor Karen Bass’ initiative to bring people living on the streets indoors, is to end the cycle of homeless encampments being cleared by the city only to return a few weeks later.

But days after the RVs were removed, Sexton said, the curb was painted red and parking was limited. The new red zone is about a quarter mile long, running between Warner Bros. Studios’ Gate 9 entrance and North Coyote Canyon Drive.

The areas that do allow parking, meanwhile, have two-hour limits.

City officials also said the decision to restrict parking was done out of fire safety concerns, not to keep the RVs from resettling along the road. Sexton has her doubts.

The lack of parking along the street suddenly imposed a new, unexpected expense on her clients, prompting some to look elsewhere. The red curb has also become an irritation for some students and workers at the New York Film Academy and businesses nearby.

A road with RVs lining its right side.

RVs are parked on Forest Lawn Drive on June 27, 2023, in Burbank.

(David McNew/Getty Images)

Since the no-parking signs went up, Sexton said, she’s lost two regular members and two potential clients. All of them had aired concern about the lack of street parking and the added expense of paying $12 a day at the parking structure on site.

The parking fee, Sexton said, doubled the monthly costs for some members.

“I didn’t know how much of a problem it was going to be until there were people saying, ‘I can’t pay $12 a day,’ ” she said. “I’m really feeling it now.”

The situation highlights some of the unintended results as city officials look to address homelessness and the concerns of businesses and homeowners affected by makeshift encampments, whether they involve tents, vehicles, or both.

RV encampments have sprung up across the city amid a housing crisis that has left many people priced out of permanent homes. Local officials have looked for ways to address the issue, including new regulations that have targeted overnight RV parking.

According to the mayor’s office, the Inside Safe program has addressed 39 encampments so far, moving more than 2,400 people into interim housing and an additional 440 into permanent housing since December 2022.

Bass spokesperson Zach Seidl said the RVs that were removed from Forest Lawn Drive were themselves causing parking issues in the area, as well as raising other significant safety and public health concerns.

Members of the surrounding community have said removing the RVs “has helped on all three fronts,” Seidl said in a statement. “This operation has saved lives.

Stella Stahl, spokesperson for Councilmember Nithya Raman, said the city has helped many of the RV residents along Forest Lawn Drive to find housing indoors.

In a statement, Stahl credited the decision to limit parking to a request by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which called the area a “high fire severity zone.” A 2019 brush fire in the area burned more than 30 acres and threatened homes and businesses.

In a Sept. 19, 2023, letter, LAFD Assistant Chief Dean Zipperman asked the city Department of Transportation to install “Tow Away No Stopping Any Time” restrictions on the road due to the stopped and parked vehicles there.

To avoid the hassle of looking for parking, cinematography students Sanchin Vinay, Yifan Xiang, and Davide Picci carpool to their classes at the New York Film Academy, which shares a building with the Muse Rooms. Eliminating the RVs has opened some spots to them, although Picci said they’d been able to find spaces on the street before — “really far down.”

A couch on a sidewalk near an RV.

The curb along Forest Lawn Drive, where someone has left a couch.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes they pay the $12 for the daily parking to avoid being late for class. Carpooling helps cushion the cost.

Leslie Bates, a film production instructor, said she heard of students and faculty members having “volatile” interactions with the RV residents.

Now that the RVs have

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