Appellate judges will determine whether he will face another trial in his father's slaying
ROCHESTER — Transcripts from the murder trial of former Pittsford resident Charlie Tan show he knew the Monroe County District Attorney's office was going to retry him in connection with the shooting death of his father.
According to court transcripts obtained by the Daily Messenger's news partner News10NBC, moments before a mistrial was declared, prosecutor Bill Gargan told the court it was the District Attorney's office's "intention" it retry Tan.
When the judge asked Charlie Tan if it was "clear" to him that he could be retried, Tan answered "Yes, sir."
But that option is tied up in the legal system now. Charlie Tan is a free man living in Atlanta.
Tan was charged with killing his father, Liang "Jim" Tan" inside their home in Pittsford. In February 2015, Jim Tan — CEO of Canandaigua-based firm Dynamax Imaging — was found in his home office with gunshot wounds to his body and head. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office found a shotgun in the attached garage of the home. A sheriff's deputy also testified that when he arrived at the home, Charlie Tan told him in the driveway of the home "I had to do it. He was going to kill my mother."
The trial lasted three weeks. The jury deliberated for seven days, and on Oct. 8, 2015, a mistrial was granted. But a month later, Judge James Piampiano threw the case out when he granted Charlie Tan and his lawyers what's called a "trial order of dismissal."
Because the dismissal was granted before a jury verdict, New York State law says the case cannot be retried and is "unappealable." The Monroe County District Attorney's office is appealing that decision. The head of appeals for the DA's office, Kelly Wolford, made the case in front of the State Supreme Court Appellate Division last week.
Wolford told the judges, "In this particular case, the defendant knew at the time they agreed to discharge his jury and grant a mistrial, he knew very well that the people intended to re-try him. In fact, the judge went through a specific colloquy about double jeopardy."
Honorable John V. Centra responded, "I got to be honest with you. It's appealing in this respect, he was aware of it. They told him it's not double jeopardy. You're going to be re-tried again. But what he knew or didn't know, aren't we bound by statute?"
Here's what the court transcripts say about that:
The earliest a ruling by the judges of the Appellate Division is expected is March 24.