Jennifer Pan, David Mylvaganam, Daniel Wong and Lenford Crawford all returned to court on Friday January 23, 2014 for a sentencing hearing. The defendants were led into the courtroom in handcuffs and shackled feet and appeared subdued as they entered the prisoners dock.
Members of the jury also returned to court in order to watch the co-accused go down for a mandatory life sentence. J4 as well as his wife, and the jury foreman were among those who attended.
The jurors were shuffled in and out of the courtroom by police and ordered to sit on the far side of the courtroom, away from media, members of the public, and family of the accused. They displayed a demeanor of self importance and grandiosity.
Emotions were high before court convened and comments were made amongst the body of the public about jury misconduct and the lack of justice the case seemed to take once it was revealed that J4 had been communicating with his wife inside the courtroom during much of the trial. The deceitful behavior of the wife, who failed to disclose who she was for months was commented on and most agreed that a mistrial should have been granted and at the very least J4 should have been dismissed.
Victim impact statements written by Hann and Felix Pan were read out in court by a witness protection aid. Hann Pan, Jennifer’s father has not been in contact with his daughter since her arrest and chose not to come to the courthouse to deliver his statement in person. He named his statement “Emotional Impact” and wrote about the emotional, physical and psychological trauma he has endured since the night of November 8, 2010. “When I lost my wife, I lost my daughter at the same time.” Mr. Pan spoke of how his daughter’s actions destroyed his family and how he now feels like “I don’t have family.” He highlighted the loneliness he’s felt since his wife’s passing, how his son has distanced himself from the rest of the family and stated that he “feels dead too.” Mr. Pan can no longer work or participate in activities that used to bring him joy like gardening and mechanics due to the injuries he sustained from being shot multiple times in the head.
Mr. Pan thanked the prosecutors, the officer in charge and the jury for their support throughout his ordeal and stated that his hope for his daughter Jennifer is that she will think about her family and one day become an honest person.
Felix Pan, Jennifer’s younger brother who is now living and working on the east coast also opted to forego attending court but, like his father, he wrote a statement to be read in court. Felix wrote that his life has been haunted by the events of November 8, 2010. He stated that in the last four years, time has not healed the wounds or depression he has suffered after losing “my emotional support, my mother.” He described how in seemingly an instant his life changed when word of what happened at 238 Helen Ave began spreading like wildfire through social media, news, friends and family. Felix stated that “everyone’s” reaction toward him changed after November 8, 2010 and he feels that his family name has been soiled. This is the reason he now lives on the east coast.
He talked of the toll these events have taken on his own life with potential employers and friends. For instance, when one searches his name, an abundance of articles on the internet appear with captions like “Brother believes sister’s lies.”
He talked of his fear of giving out the address of his parent’s Markham home because it uncovers a deluge of article of the horrible events that took place there.
First degree murder renders a mandatory life sentence of 25 years without the possibility of parole. The crown urged the judge to sentence the accused to a life sentence for the attempt murder charges as well.
On behalf of their clients, defence counsel argued that a 10-15 year sentence on the attempt murder to be run concurrently was appropriate. Neither Pan nor Mylvaganam have a previous criminal record. Their attorneys conceded that their clients should receive the higher end of the 10-15 years. Crawford and Wong’s attorneys argued for the lower end of 10-15. Crawford and Wong both have a previous but minor criminal record involving the possession and trafficking of marijuana.
The crown sought and was granted communication bans between co-accused as well as Eric Carty until his trial is complete. There was also a ban between the defendants and members of the Pan family. Paul Cooper stated that his client is open to communication with her family and therefore the court should allow the Pan family the option of contacting Jennifer if they so choose. The judge accepted this request.
Lenford Crawford was the only accused who made a statement to the court. Crawford, who was clean shaven throughout the duration of the trial, has since grown a full beard. He told the judge that he has great respect for the Canadian legal system, the attorneys and His Honour, and stated that he remained respectful to the court and the legal process throughout his arrest, police interviews and trial.
Justice Boswell returned his decision shortly before 4:30pm. His synopsis of the crime that took place on November 8, 2010 at 238 Helen Ave was summed up as horrific. Boswell stated that those willing to go along with such a plan have “very little concern for human life.”
All accused were sentenced to life without parole for 25 years for the first degree murder of Bich-Ha Pan and life for the attempted murder of Hann Pan. The sentences are to be run concurrently. The earliest Jennifer Pan can apply for parole is November 22, 2035. David Mylvaganam is eligible for parole on April 14, 2036, Daniel Wong on April 26, 2036 and Lenford Crawford on May 4, 2036.
More to follow. Stay Tuned!