A second Connecticut judge upheld the $20 million bond for MIT researcher Qinxuan Pan, who is charged with murdering Yale University graduate student Kevin Jiang in February before leading authorities on a monthslong search until his eventual capture in Alabama in May.
New Haven Superior Court Judge Gerald Harmon ruled on July 28 that Pan would remain held on the $20 million bond – despite the Connecticut Supreme Court ordering a review of the "potentially record-setting amount" for a Connecticut case earlier in the month, the Hartford Courant reported.
Despite its historic height, the $20 million is lower than the $50 million bond sought by prosecutors after Pan was located by U.S. Marshals in Montgomery, Ala., renting an apartment under a fake name and in possession of $19,000 in cash, seven cellphones, seven SIM cards and his father's passport, the New Haven Register reported. Judge Brian Fischer set the bond at $20 million during a May 20 arraignment hearing.
In upholding that number, Harmon concluded the bond set by Fischer "is appropriate to ensure the safety of the community, safety of himself and also his appearance in court," as Pan is considered "an acute risk of flight and also a danger to the public and possibly himself," according to the Courant.
Senior Assistant State's Attorney Stacey Miranda revealed for the first time during the July 28 court hearing that Jiang, a 26-year-old U.S. Army veteran and Yale graduate student who had proposed to his girlfriend, Zion Perry, a week before, had been "executed" in February not far from campus with five gunshots to his face and head, plus additional gunshots down his torso, one arm and one leg.
Perry, also a Yale graduate student, had previously completed her undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she at least knew Pan and was photographed speaking to him at a university swing dance in early 2020. Perry reportedly told police investigators she believed Pan was interested in her, but authorities haven’t disclosed further information about any relationship.
Pan allegedly stole a car from a Massachusetts dealership by taking it on a test drive and taking it across state lines to Connecticut. After allegedly shooting Jiang in New Haven, he interacted with police in nearby North Haven when the car became stuck on railroad tracks and needed to be towed.
He was questioned by police and let go.
Pan’s defense attorney, William Gerace, had argued again that his client's bail should be lowered to around $2 or $3 million, but Miranda also revealed during the hearing that Pan’s parents, Hong Huang and Hao Pan, are under investigation for potentially hindering prosecution by picking up their son and driving him to Georgia after the alleged murder, the Register reported. Miranda argued Pan’s parents, originally from Shanghai, still maintained strong ties to China and had assets available to them worth "well into the millions of dollars."