Appellate court: No murder re-trial for Charlie Tan
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - An appellate court ruled unanimously Friday that a Pittsford man who was tried for killing his father in February 2015 will not be tried again for murder.
The court debated the issue for several weeks after hearing arguments from defense attorneys for Charlie Tan and prosecutors from the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
After the trial in the death of Jim Tan ended in a hung jury in 2015, Judge James Piampiano dismissed the case. Typically an appeal can only be ordered after a verdict has actually been rendered in a case. For Tan, the case ended with a hung jury.
Defense attorneys for Tan argued that retrying him would be a violation of double jeopardy.
The Monroe County District Attorney's Office disagreed with that point of view.
"We were right in asking for this court to consider this appeal and at this point, justice still is not going to be served," said Kelly Wolford. "That is frustrating."
In Wolford's frustration is encouragement. Court Justices agreed that Tan's original trial should've never been dismissed. Judge James Piampiano dismissed the case over a hung jury back in 2015.
"The DA's office can try and seek an appearance in front of the court of appeals," said Tan's defense lawyer, Brian Decarolis. "They are the highest court in New York State. I would hope in light of the ruling that they are not going to do that. They are not going to push this any further."
Wolford said Friday afternoon that presenting a re-trial before the state Court of Appeals is not out of the question and it won't stop her team from planning their next move.
"Now, we have to get over that technical legal hurdle," Wolford said. "We knew from the beginning this was going to be the hardest to get by."
Earlier this week, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured Judge Piampiano for misconduct during the Tan trial.
According to the Commission, the judge made public comments on the case while it was still pending, and threatened to handcuff and jail prosecutor Bill Gargan when he tried to grant a defense motion to dismiss a murder charge.
The full decision can be read below: