But the accused killer was not sent back to Laos because his country wouldn't take him.
"He shouldn't be allowed to be roaming around at all," said Rolina Calabia, sister of victim Robert Calabia. "This guy, when you look at his eyes he has no mercy."
In 2006, Ka Passasouk was ordered deported based on his criminal record, which at the time included convictions for felony assault and second-degree robbery.
After being released from state prison in 2008, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement took the 31-year-old into custody and tried to send him back home, but the Laotian government refused to send the proper paperwork.
"His country would not take him back, now what do we do?" said immigration attorney Phil Karin. "Keep him locked up for the rest of his life? He didn't commit a capital crime. I'm not saying it wasn't a crime of violence, but there's no murder so what do you do throw away the key?"
Under a Supreme Court ruling, ICE can only hold a detainee 180 days. At the time of the deadly attack outside the Northridge boarding house where Passasouk is accused of gunning down Robert Calabia, Jennifer Kim, Amanda Ghossein and Teofilo Navales, he was free on an ICE order of supervision.
"This is the United States, this isn't Iran where they put you up against a wall and shoot you," said Karin. "This is the United States and we have the good and the bad, we protect people whether they're the scum of the Earth or good citizens."
For Calabia's family, it's a stunning development in a devastating crime.
"I saw my brother today for the first time at the mortuary and it breaks my heart," said Calabia.
Karin said Passasouk's case is not unusual. There is a lengthy list of countries including China, Cuba and Pakistan, who all refuse to take back their citizens that the United States tries to deport.