An appeal for a new trial for Charlie Tan has been unanimously dismissed.
The decision came down from the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department on Friday.
After Judge Piampiano granted a motion for a trial order of dismissal in November 5, 2015, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office filed an appeal.
Judge Piampiano had declared a mistrial in the trial of Charlie Tan for the murder of his father. The mistrial was declared after the jury had deliberated for eight days without reaching a verdict, and advised that it continued to reserve decision on the motion for a trial order of dismissal.
At the next court appearance, the court granted the motion of dismissal.
The decision reached by the Appellate Division says the appeal “must be dismissed because there is no statutory authority for an appeal by the People from an order granting a motion for a trial order of dismissal in these circumstances.”
The decision further reads, “were we able to review the merits, however, we would agree with the People that the court erred in dismissing the indictment.”
However, they argue, the order is not appealable because they may not “create a right to appeal out of thin air” in order to address the merits “without trespassing on the Legislature’s domain.”
News 8 spoke with the defense in the case, who said the decision to unanimously dismiss the appeal is what they expected all along.
The District Attorney’s Office argued that after Tan’s first trial in 2015 ended in a hung jury, that all parties had agreed there would be a second trial. But, the defense says that is inaccurate. James Noble, with the defense, said that all parties had acknowledged there could be a second trial if the people chose to retry the defendant, or if the final motions weren’t granted.
As for what is next, the District Attorney’s Office said they can try taking this to the New York State Court of Appeals and will discuss whether or not to try to that that within the next 30 days. Noble said that is incredibly unlikely.
When the case was first brought against Tan, claims from family and friends had come forward that Charlie’s father was abusive, and the community showed a lot of support for Charlie.
Since there was so much attention on the case, News 8 wanted to get the perspective from a local attorney, not involved in the case, to ask if justice was served.
“On a gut level, I believe justice was served,” said Robert L. Brenna Jr., an attorney with Brenna Boyce Law Firm. “As an aside, I have never in my 38 years of practice, seen a community show such support for a human being explaining their belief that the person was such a good person. The strange thing is the appeal also made reference to the merits of the case and state that there might be another outcome under different circumstances, but my best recollection is that the District Attorney’s brief didn’t argue the merits of the underlying case.”