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Lawyer for Yale student murder suspect says discovery is over

NEW HAVEN — The Qinxuan Pan case, charged with the murder of Yale graduate student Kevin Jiang, continued on Wednesday, allowing Pan and his attorneys to review the evidence in the case.

Attorney Kevin Smith, representing Pan, said discovery is complete in the case. With the evidence in hand, proceedings can now move more quickly, he said.

The case continued until June 2.

Jiang was shot dead on Lawrence Street in the city’s East Rock neighborhood on February 6, 2021.

Born in Seattle and raised in Chicago, Jiang was an environmental scientist/engineer and tank operator in the Army and National Guard and graduated from the University of Washington before coming to Yale. He was a certified fitness trainer and ran his own studio after serving in the military.

Those who knew Jiang described him as a person of faith and energy, including his parents, speaking at his funeral at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven.

Jiang lived “with all his heart, with enthusiasm”, like a “ray of sunshine”, said his mother, Linda Liu. He led his friends and family to faith; he had grown as a person while serving in the military. He was a good communicator; he loved science and nature. He had taken care of her, showing his thoughtfulness, reassuring her about the future, she said.

“Kevin’s life was short but colorful, and brought so much joy, happiness and positivity to those around him,” his mother said. “As a mother, I will always miss Kevin and cherish the blessings he has given me. Although Kevin has left us now, Kevin is the most wonderful gift God has ever given me on Earth.

His father, Mingchen Jiang, said his son spoke to him a lot about faith during his journey in life; they grew and matured together.

“I realize now that Kevin himself is an angel. Her mission in this world is to convey love,” Mingchen Jiang said. “Love is the word Kevin has used the most.”

Jiang became engaged to Zion Perry, also a graduate student at Yale, about a week before his murder. Photos later emerged online appearing to show Perry and Pan together at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology dance in 2020. Perry and Pan were friends on Facebook, where she posted about the engagement.

New Haven police obtained a warrant charging Pan with Jiang’s murder in late February. The department had named him as a person of interest in the case on February 10.

Affidavit: The weapons, cars, and DNA that led police to arrest Qinxuan Pan for the murder of a Yale graduate student.

Pan allegedly stole a GMC Terrain on Feb. 6 and changed his cell phone number before coming to Connecticut, according to a police report from Mansfield, Mass.

North Haven police arrested Pan that evening while driving on train tracks near Sims Metal Management.

According to an affidavit from that community, city officials had been given a different description of the New Haven homicide suspect, so they let Pan go.

The day after the interaction with Pan, North Haven police were called to Arby’s at 267 Washington Ave., where employees said they found a bag containing a gun and ammunition, along with other items, according to the North Haven affidavit.

Preliminary analysis of shell casings found at the scene of Jiang’s death, conducted through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, indicated that they were associated with four other shooting incidents in New Haven, including one at Osborn. Street on February 5 and another. about an hour before Jiang died on Shepherd Street in Hamden on Feb. 6, one in January and one in December, according to a New Haven police affidavit.

In an application for a search warrant to obtain OnStar data from the Terrain, Detective David Zaweski wrote in the New Haven affidavit that Pan “rented and kept overnight” a different vehicle on the day of each shooting associated with the casings found. at the scene of Jiang’s death.

The Ruger .911 found at Arby’s house revealed no NIBIN connection to cartridge cases found at the scene, according to the New Haven affidavit. Police were still looking for the firearm used in the murder when the affidavit was written.

Fingerprints determined to match Pan’s were found on the Ruger, according to the New Haven affidavit. Residue consistent with gunfire was found on a yellow coat found at Arby’s.

Pan, a former MIT graduate student, was not arrested until May 13 in Montgomery, Alabama, following a search by U.S. Marshals and others.

His bail was set at $20 million on May 20, as he was charged with murder.

Pan then filed a motion with the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider his bail, arguing that it was disproportionately high. Pattis Wednesday noted that they are awaiting this decision. This review, which began in September, is still ongoing.

Under the state constitution, defendants have the right to be “released on bail with adequate guarantees”; the judges considered the meaning of this sentence during a hearing on September 8.

During that hearing, Pattis brought up the example of Peter Manfredonia, charged with two murders, kidnapping, home invasion and other crimes, for which bail was originally set at $5 million.

“The Pan family wonders if this is Yale, the shadow of Yale, cast over the criminal courts,” Pattis said. “Each case involving Yale seems to take on a particular gravity.”

Senior Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Sugrue argued that the court should uphold bail, which he said took into account all of the factors, including the nature of the alleged crime, the likelihood of flight and the possibility of harm to the community, as well as Pan’s alleged resources.

The state is obligated to offer the defendant bail, Sugrue said, but in this case it believes there is no amount that could reasonably guarantee he would reappear in court if released.

“If he’s out, he’s gone,” Sugrue said. “He represents a serious and acute flight risk.”

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