Lin family slaying: Robert Xie to stand trial over deaths

Min "Norman" Lin and Yun Li "Lillie" Lin.
Min "Norman" Lin and Yun Li "Lillie" Lin.
"In my knowledge he didn't leave the house" ... Kathy Lin.

"In my knowledge he didn't leave the house" ... Kathy Lin.

Sydney man Robert Xie has been committed for trial over the 2009 murder of five members of a family in North Epping.

Central Local Court magistrate John Andrews said there was sufficient evidence for the 48-year-old to stand trial over the Lin family murder, one of the worst homicides in the state's recent history.

Police allege Mr  Xie crept into the home of his brother-in-law in the early hours of July 18, 2009, and strangled and bludgeoned him and four members of his family to death.

The victims were Mr Xie's brother-in-law, Min "Norman" Lin, 45, his sister-in-law Yun Li "Lillie" Lin, 43, her sister, Yun Bin "Irene" Lin, 39, and two boys aged nine and 12.

Police claim Mr Xie was motivated by a resentment of his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, stemming from his belief that they were unfairly favoured in the family group.

It is also alleged that Mr Xie and his wife, Kathy Lin, stood to inherit the Lin family's Epping newsagency.

Mr Xie was arrested in May 2011 after one of the state's biggest homicide investigations.

Among the discoveries during the investigation was a small bloodstain under a table in Mr Xie's garage. The committal hearing heard expert evidence that the spot contained a mix of at least three different kinds of blood, at least one of which had virtually identical characteristics to one of the victims.

"That blood profile has been compared to Y [chromosome] profiles in databases around the world," Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told the court.

"That profile has been found to match only one person in the 40,000 profiles. That person is Min Lin himself."

The committal was also shown footage, taken by hidden police cameras, which appeared to show Mr Xie cutting up and disposing of shoe boxes.

It was alleged that Mr Xie did this in an attempt to destroy evidence that he owned a pair of Asics running shoes, whose prints matched bloodied marks found at the murder scene.

But against this evidence was the sworn testimony of Mr Xie's wife, Kathy Lin, that he was at home in bed on the night of the murders. "In my knowledge he didn't leave the house," she said.

Mr Tedeschi produced transcripts from interviews Ms Lin had with police after the murders to suggest she had changed her evidence about Mr Xie's presence a number of times.

In his closing submissions, Mr Xie's barrister, Graham Turnbull, SC, said the case was based on speculation and there was no chance a jury would convict Mr Xie.

Mr Turnbull likened the case to the case against Gordon Wood, who was acquitted of his girlfriend's murder after spending three years in prison.

"Wood established that cases of this kind, conducted in this way, marked with speculation ... lead to acquittals," Mr Turnbull said. "This is exactly the same."

This story Lin family slaying: Robert Xie to stand trial over deaths first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.