ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — More than four and a half years later, Charlie Tan has admitted that he killed his father.
Here’s how we got here, according to prior coverage by News 8 WROC, legal documents on public record, and Charlie Tan’s own account.
January 28, 2015
Charlie Tan says his mother, “Qing “Jean” Tan, called him and told him that his father, Jim Tan, had choked her, that she lost consciousness, and that there were red marks all over her neck. Jean told Charlie that she thought she was “going to die” and said “the next time” Jim would kill her. Charlie says he immediately called his father.
January 29, 2015
Charlie says his brother Jeff Tan texted him about their father’s abuse and told Charlie he was “going to have to make a choice soon that will be one of the most important decisions of his life.” Charlie says he interpreted his brother to be saying that Charlie himself needed to intervene and protect his mother.
February 4, 2015
Charlie says he spoke to his mother on the phone in the evening and she told him once again that she believed the “next time” Jim was going to kill her. Charlie told her to lay low, stay in her room with the door locked, and to not do anything that might “piss off” his father.
February 5, 2015
Charlie says he left Cornell University and obtained a firearm through his friend. Charlie says he felt “terrified by the enormity of what I was about to do,” but “felt there was no turning back.”
Charlie says he entered his parents’ home through the back door, walked upstairs, turned into his father’s office and shot him three times as he was sitting at his desk. “I knew I had killed him,” Charlie said.
Charlie says he then went to his mother, told her to park up her things, and prepared to Drive to Canada. From there, Charlie and his mother drove to Toronto, and purchased one-way tickets to Shanghai.
February 7, 2015
Charlie says he and his mother applied for Chinese travel visas.
February 9, 2015
Charlie and his mother picked up their visas, but by then they had decided to return to the U.S. Charlie says he made this decision because if he went to China his mother would be blamed for the murder, and his brother would be left alone in the U.S.
Charlie says his mother called 911 to report that he had shot and killed his father in order to protect her. Charlie was charged with murder in the second degree and was incarcerated until …
March 5, 2015
Charlie pleaded not guilty to second degree murder and was released on $50,000 bail pending trial.
June 17, 2015
At a hearing, Charlie Tan’s defense team withdraws its request to have his admission statement to deputies at the scene suppressed. Tan’s attorney at the time, James Nobles, told News 8 “That statement was essentially, along the lines of ‘I had to do it, I believed he was going to kill my mother.’”
September 14, 2015
Jury selection begins in the murder trial of Charlie Tan.
September 22, 2015
Lawyers present their opening statements in the high-profile trial.
September 29, 2015
Lawyers deliver their closing arguments and jury deliberations begin to decide the fate of Charlie Tan.
October 8, 2015
Monroe County Court Judge James Piampiano declares a mistrial after jury is unable to reach unanimous verdict
November 5, 2015
Judge Piampiano dismisses the case and Tan walks free. The judge decided that the prosecution didn’t have enough evidence for the criminal charges.
March 27, 2017
Judge Piampiano is officially censured by the state watchdog for judicial ethics, for speaking to the media before, during, and after the conclusion of the trial.
March 31, 2017
A prosecutor’s appeal for a new trial was unanimously dismissed by the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department.
September 22, 2017
Charlie is arrested and jailed on charges that he participated in an illegal gun buy with his friend. The charges alleged that Tan tricked his friend into illegally purchasing the shotgun used in the murder.
June 22, 2018
Charlie pleads guilty in federal court in Syracuse on three criminal counts stemming from the purchase of the shotgun used in the murder. Charlie says he decided to plead guilty “almost immediately” after his attorneys told him that the prosecutors had access to his emails and texts that would be used in the trial.
November 19, 2019
Charlie is sentenced to 20 years in prison on the federal gun charges. Prosecutors pronounced “Justice was served.”
November 20, 2019
One year after his sentencing, Charlie admits to killing his father. He did this in an attempt to vacate his 20 year setence for the gun charges. Federal prosecutors have until March 2020 to respond to the request that Tan’s sentence be vacated.