Robert Xie murder trial: Timeline of events
A man in Sydney, Australia, who maintained his innocence to the last has been found guilty by a Supreme Court jury of bludgeoning five relatives to death in their home.
The majority verdict for Robert Xie came following a six-month re-trial and eight days of deliberations, after which the jury returned a majority verdict.
The 53-year-old faces life behind bars after spending more than five years accused of killing the relatives of his wife Kathy Lin.
LIN FAMILY KILLINGS: A TIMELINE
• July 18, 2009 – Sydney newsagent Min Lin (aged 45), Lin's wife Yun Li "Lily" Lin (44), their children Henry (12) and Terry (9), and Lily's sister Yun Bin "Irene" Lin (39), are found dead in their North Epping home.
Lin's sister Kathy and her husband Robert Xie go to the house before breakfast, after they receive phone calls to say the family newsagency has not opened for the day. They discover the bodies, which have been bashed so badly they are almost beyond recognition.
• July 29, 2009 – Kathy Lin and Robert Xie make a public appeal for information about the killings.
• August 8, 2009 – A large public funeral is held for the Lin family.
• May 2010 – Kathy Lin is interviewed by the NSW Crime Commission, where she is told police have found shoe prints from an ASICS sneaker at the North Epping home.
Police surveillance later allegedly captures Xie cutting up and disposing of shoe boxes.
• May 5, 2011 – Xie is arrested and charged with five counts of murder. Police tell the media that he emerged as their prime suspect about six months after the killings.
• December 22, 2011 – Xie makes an unsuccessful bail application, and remains behind bars.
• February 10, 2012 – The Lin family house is listed for sale.
• March 29, 2012 – Xie again applies for bail in the NSW Supreme Court.
Police reveal they believe the boys woke up during the attacks, and they were likely killed because they saw Xie and could identify him.
• April 5, 2012 – Justice Derek Price denies bail, but acknowledges a jury may find there is not enough evidence to convict him.
• August 20, 2012 – Xie faces a committal hearing in Central Local Court.
• December 19, 2012 – Xie is committed to stand trial for the murders, and his lawyer again applies for bail.
• December 20, 2012 – Xie is granted bail by local court magistrate John Andrews, who says the Crown case is not strong. But the prosecution says it will appeal the decision, and Xie is not released.
• December 21, 2012 – An appeal on the bail decision is heard in the NSW Supreme Court.
• December 24, 2012 – Xie is denied bail by Justice Stephen Rothman.
• February 1, 2013 – In the NSW Supreme Court, Xie pleads not guilty for the first time.
• July 22, 2013 – Xie's September trial date is vacated and delayed until 2014.
• May 8, 2014 – Xie's trial begins. A jury is told he allegedly made confessions to a fellow prison inmate.
• June 10, 2014 – The trial is aborted, after new evidence comes to light.
• August 5, 2014 – Xie's second trial begins, and the jury hear evidence of an alleged sexual motive, which cannot be revealed due to non-publication orders.
• September 23, 2014 – The trial is aborted, after the trial judge Justice Peter Johnson falls ill.
• October 13, 2014 – Xie is again refused bail.
• February 4, 2015 – Xie's third trial begins.
• November 12, 2015 – The jury begin their deliberations, having been told they will be put up in a hotel in order to maintain their focus.
• December 1, 2015 – The jury tells the court they cannot reach a verdict.
• December 8, 2015 – Xie is granted bail, after spending four years and seven months in jail without a conviction.
• June 29, 2016 – Xie's fourth trial begins, with new defence barristers and prosecutors.
• December, 2016 – Xie is taken back into custody for the final days of the trial, and the jury's deliberation.
• January 12, 2017 – Xie is found guilty of five counts of murder.
- Sydney Morning Herald