NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A man accused of killing a Yale graduate student last year in New Haven can now ask a judge to allow him to pay 10% of his $20 million bond in cash, according to an advance opinion released from the Connecticut Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon.
Qinwuan Pan’s legal team filed for a request in August 2021 for the court to review a judge’s decision to deny his motion for his bond to be modified, calling the $20 million amount “unreasonably high.” The state court on Tuesday granted that request, and said the judge must consider the request for the 10% cash bond option.
“Although we conclude that the $20 million bond amount was not an abuse of the trial court’s discretion given the extraordinary flight risk and public safety considerations presented in this case, we agree with the defendant’s second claim and conclude that remand to the trial court is necessary for that court to consider its authority to grant a 10 percent bond option,” the state court wrote. “Because this case highlights the existence of several substantive and procedural issues concerning the information on which the judges of the Superior Court rely in setting reasonable bond amounts, we also address the procedures applicable to any future bond modification proceedings.”
Pan is accused of ambushing and shooting Kevin Jiang in February 2021 in New Haven. Court documents state that Pan hid different handguns in New Haven and Hamden in order to confuse police.
He was arrested in May 2021 in Alabama after a nationwide manhunt. At the time, Pan allegedly had $19,000 in cash on him, seven cell phones and his father’s passport. The prosecution has argued that Pan’s family has millions of dollars, and that he is a severe flight risk.
The prosecution wanted Pan’s bond to be set at $50 million, while the defense requested for it to be $2 million or $3 million and include electronic monitoring. His parents also offered to post their house for bond, according to Tuesday’s ruling.
The state court wrote that while the judge did not abuse his discretion in assigning the $20 million bond, it was still remanding him because he “incorrectly determined that he lacked discretion” for not giving the 10% cash option.
Either the defense or the prosecution can now move to modify the bond. If his team claims the existing bond is unaffordable, then they must provide evidence to prove that he does not have access to the money to afford the bond that was set.