S.F. jewelry store slaying suspect pleads not guilty 

click to enlarge Barry White Jr., background, is seen at his arraignment last month. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Barry White Jr., background, is seen at his arraignment last month.

The man accused of the savage slayings of two South of Market jewelry store employees last month pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts Wednesday.

Barry White Jr., 23, of Antioch remains in custody on no-bail status. He's next scheduled to appear Sept. 24 for a status hearing, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.

Following Wednesday's hearing, which was attended by family members of the victims, someone yelled "murderer" at White as he was led out of the courtroom.

Prosecutors believe White used a gun and knife July 12 to slaughter workers at Victoga Inc., a jewelry store inside the GiftCenter & JewelryMart at 888 Brannan St.

Lina Lim, 51, a Daly City resident, was found shot and nearly decapitated after the attack. Khin Min, 35, of San Francisco was sliced from ear to ear, according to prosecutors. Owner Vic Hung was shot and stabbed but survived the incident.

Prosecutor Scot Clark said the dispute was over less than $300, the amount White reportedly claimed he should be reimbursed for jewelry he had recently purchased from the store.

After the attack, White allegedly reloaded his gun in the hallway and left the building, apparently to face responding police officers. He fired at six officers, though none were hit, police said.

A fully loaded AK-47 was found in his car, which was parked nearby, police have said.

High-quality surveillance cameras at the jewelry store clearly show White at the scene committing the killings, Clark said.

The families of the slain women were stunned by the killings, saying they weren't aware of any past disputes between White and the victims. Lim's cousins called the killings "beyond human."

Before the incident, White had even asked Hung for change to feed his parking meter and Hung reportedly gave it to him, Clark said.

Last week, White's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Steven Gayle, told reporters his client might have suffered a serious mental breakdown at the time of the killings.

White was previously charged with assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest for an August 2009 incident in Antioch in which he allegedly rammed a police vehicle with his car.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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