Skip to content
Former MIT researcher accused of murdering Yale student refuses to speak in his own defense, proficiency exam ordered

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The Connecticut defense attorney representing the former Chinese MIT researcher charged with the murder of a Yale graduate student more than a year and a half ago told a hearing on Tuesday that his client refused to speak , prompting the judge to grant the motion for jurisdictional review.

Tuesday’s hearing came exactly 19 months to the day after Pan, a longtime artificial intelligence researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, allegedly shot and killed Kevin Jiang, 26, in New Haven, Connecticut, in front of Jiang’s fiancée’s apartment.

Jiang, who served in the U.S. Army and National Guard, was born in Seattle and raised in Chicago before attending the University of Washington and eventually coming to Yale to pursue a graduate degree in environmental studies. He was described by friends and family as a devout Christian and proposed to fellow Yale graduate student Zion Perry a week before his death.

Perry previously attended MIT’s undergraduate and was pictured at a varsity dance with Pan in 2020. The two were reportedly friends on Facebook, where Perry had posted about her engagement to Jiang, but no further connection. is known.


Qinxuan Pan, left, is charged with the murder of Army veteran and Yale graduate student Kevin Jiang, right.
(New Haven Police Department/Yale University Police Department)

On the day of the fatal shooting, Pan allegedly stole a compact SUV from a Massachusetts car dealership to take it for a test drive and changed his cell phone number before crossing state lines into Connecticut. The vehicle then had to be towed from the North Haven train tracks shortly after Jiang was fatally shot in nearby New Haven.

Police questioned Jiang but let him go because they initially had a different description of the suspect, according to court documents.

Another four months have passed with it in the wind despite national and international search efforts. Pan was eventually caught in Birmingham, Alabama, in a rented apartment under a false name with $19,000 in cash, seven cell phones, seven SIM cards and his father’s passport.

Former MIT researcher accused of murdering Yale student refuses to speak in his own defense, proficiency exam ordered

Kevin Jiang proposed to Zion Perry on Jan. 30, 2021 — a year after they met at a church retreat in Connecticut.

The defense was granted several delays to allow more time to consider evidence, but what was ultimately to be a probable cause hearing on Tuesday moved to another matter after Pan’s lawyer, Norm Pattis, made a request for his client to take a competency exam, New Haven Independent reported.

During his conversation with Pan over the past few months, Pattis said his client indicated it was possible there was “a second person involved”, suggesting that Pan may have been at the scene where Jiang was shot but didn’t pull the trigger or maybe not there at all.

But the problem is, Pattis told the court, that neither he nor his co-lawyer Kevin Smith could get a straight answer from their client, so Pan’s “apparent reluctance to discuss with us” the circumstances of the shooting with his own defense raises concerns about his ability to stand trial.

Former MIT researcher accused of murdering Yale student refuses to speak in his own defense, proficiency exam ordered

Qinxuan Pan, accused of shooting Yale University graduate student and U.S. Army veteran Kevin Jiang, was in court on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

“It’s a communicative challenge,” Pattis said. “I can’t get a straight answer.”

Pattis said he was unable to determine if Pan was “capable of assisting in his own defense”. So far, he has not entered a plea on the murder charge.

Granting the defense’s motion, state Superior Court Judge Jon Alander ordered that Pan be evaluated by a court and a state-appointed psychiatrist before a jurisdiction hearing scheduled for Nov. 7.


Assistant State’s Attorney Stacey Miranda called the decision “unfortunate” given that she subpoenaed witnesses and was prepared to present evidence and testimony relevant to what was purported to be. the probable cause hearing on Tuesday to move the case forward.

In the courtroom were nearly 20 members of Jiang’s friends and family, who were openly praying outside in the hall for justice.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.