Defense: Jean Tan had Opportunity, Ability, and Motive to Kill Jim Tan

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“We know where this gun came from. We know who tried to buy it. We know whose prints are on the gun. We know who says he did it,” exclaimed Monroe County Prosecutor, Bill Gargan outside court Tuesday.
 During closing arguments, Gargan held up the shotgun and told jurors the only one capable of baring the responsibility of killing Jim Tan was Charlie Tan, as he used Charlie’s perceived perfection against him. Gargan called what Charlie did to his father an assassination. And, he repeatedly spoke directly to Charlie, asking him why he did it and what his father did that was so terrible. Eventually, he was scolded by Judge James Piampiano for his conduct.  “This is a horrific crime. And passion comes about when dealing with a horrific crime,” Gargan explained. “It’s not something that happens in different portions of the trial. But, it’s appropriate here. “People sometimes lose their cool,” said Tan’s attorney, Brian DeCarolis. “Sometimes, people lose their head when they’re flustered. Sometimes, we use that to paper over the lack of evidence in this case. You can be loud. But, it doesn’t mean you have what you say you have.”

Defense attorney James Nobles pointed the finger at Charlie’s mother, Jean Tan during his closing arguments. He said she had the opportunity, ability and motive. She inherited the house and a $2.1 million business. Nobles said she’d also been put through years of abuse and played a 911 call made by Jean Tan where she begs for help while Jim Tan calls her childish. “She’s the only one that went through that on the 28th. Charlie wasn’t there. Charlie was doing his thing at school, doing what all 19-year-old’s do at Cornell,” DeCarolis said.  “I’m  not surprised that defense went there because the proof is so overwhelming that Charlie did it. You can’t just stand there and go gosh, that looks pretty bad for my client,” Gargan added.

 Still, Gargan wasn’t able to put the gun in Charlie’s hand. “Do you think that most murders happen where somebody says: okay, I’m watching him hold the gun, I see him hold the gun. Oh, he just shot the guy. Murders are built years after a case when a person isn’t seen holding it,” he said.  Still, the defense is hoping their Jean Tan theory is enough to raise reasonable doubt. “Who is the stronger argument than Jean tan for not wanting to see that face?” DeCarolis said.

Deliberations will continue Wednesday.

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