Woman accused in killing of her mom felt 'trapped' by strict parents
Published Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:59PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:55PM EDT
NEWMARKET, Ont. -- A woman accused in the killing of her mother and attempted murder of her father during an apparent home invasion told police she could not explain why the intruders didn't shoot her, court heard Wednesday.
In a videotaped statement played for court, Jennifer Pan denied telling a relative the attackers liked her and said the outcome baffled her.
"Why didn't they shoot you?" Det. William Goetz asked.
"I don't know. They kept saying I co-operated and shut up. I don't understand it, no," Pan said, her voice breaking.
"Does it make sense they would leave a witness behind?"
"I guess not."
Pan, 27, and four others -- including her boyfriend Daniel Wong -- were charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder following the attack at the family home in Markham, Ont., in November 2010.
Her mother, Bieh Ha Pan, 53, was shot dead. Her father, Hann Pan, 60, was shot in the face but survived.
In her third police interview shown to jurors, Pan told Goetz her strict parents had made her break up with her boyfriend and move back home.
"There was no choice because family must come first," Pan told the officer.
"It wasn't the best feeling in the world, because I was sort of trapped."
Pan, who was unhurt in the attack, admitted hiding her relationship with Wong, 28, with whom she was living.
"They didn't approve of my having a boyfriend," she said in the four-hour interview.
Eventually, however, her parents found out and ordered her to stay home.
"I felt just very empty. I started talking to him again."
The Crown alleges Pan orchestrated the hit on her parents -- which initially appeared to be a home invasion -- because she was angry they had thwarted the relationship with Wong.
At times weepy, at other times speaking openly and confidently, Pan described how she suffered from depression, began cutting herself as a teen, and contemplated suicide.
Her mother and father, she said, bickered frequently over housework.
"There's not much of a relationship," she said of her parents.
Pan, a one-time competitive figure skater and accomplished pianist, had also promised to pay $5,000 for each parent killed from her share of the inheritance, according to the prosecution.
Her father has previously testified about how he was awoken in bed to find himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Before the police statement was played, Ontario Superior Court Justice Cary Boswell instructed the jury about the conclusions they could draw from the many lies Pan told her parents and others.
Among the years of falsehoods was that she was living with a female friend, had studied at two universities -- she even got Wong to buy a fake diploma online for $500 -- volunteered at a hospital and worked at various jobs.
Because she was a liar, jurors should not infer that she had a propensity to commit the crime, Boswell told them.
"No one should be punished for being a bad person," he said.
Also charged are David Mylvaganam, Eric Carty and Lenford Crawford.
The trial continues Thursday.