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Judge Revokes Wang’s Attorney Status

by marcia chambers | Apr 7, 2015 8:38 am | Comments (2)

WTNH-POOL In a day of high drama, Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe Jr. ruled yesterday that Dr. Lishan Wang was not mentally competent to stand trial and was no longer to act as his own attorney in his murder case. Dr. Wang is accused of gunning down Dr. Vanjinder Toor, a 34-year-old Yale University doctor, five years ago this month.

To Dr. Wang’s dismay, Judge O’Keefe also appointed Chief Public Defender Thomas J. Ullmann to serve as   Dr. Wang’s attorney for the foreseeable future. The judge did not rule out Dr. Wang’s possible self-representation sometime in the future but that scenario seems unlikely.

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Experts Say Wang Not Competent To Stand Trial

by marcia chambers | Apr 6, 2015 2:00 pm

WTNH-POOL Is Dr. Lishan Wang mentally competent to determine his defense and to conduct his murder trial?

This question was answered today by a group of experts at his competency hearing in New Haven’s state Superior Court, the second in the last five years. The court-ordered psychiatric evaluation found he was not. 

Dr. Alexander Westphal, the state’s first witness, testified that it was the team’s opinion that “Dr. Wang did not demonstrate the capacity to rationally understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his defense.” The evaluation found there was a “substantial probability” that Dr. Wang “can be restored to competence through an inpatient hospitalization at the Connecticut Valley Hospital,” a path Dr. Wang has gone down before.  Dr. Wang acted as his own attorney in court today, questioning the witnesses.

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Branford Woman Gets Probation in Gifting Tables Case

by marcia chambers | Mar 25, 2015 12:18 pm

A 78-year-old Branford woman, an admitted gifting table participant who for three years paid no taxes on the $100,000 she earned at the tables, was sentenced yesterday to one year of probation, the first six months of which she must serve in home confinement. She is the latest woman to be convicted for failing to pay taxes on the bounty she received from what was actually an illegal pyramid scheme.

U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson, who sits in Hartford, also ordered Eileen Brennan to perform 50 hours of community services and pay back taxes, interest and penalties.

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Envelope, Please

by marcia chambers | Mar 20, 2015 1:45 pm | Comments (1)

WTNH-POOL Dr. Lishan Wang, who is accused of gunning down a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor, outside his Branford condo nearly five years ago, learned yesterday that his most recent mental competency report had been filed with the court. 

Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford held a short status hearing for Dr. Wang yesterday because the trial judge in the case is on vacation this month. It was at this hearing that Dr. Wang learned his competency report had been finished and filed with the judge. The report will be a determining factor in whether or not Dr. Wang continues to represent himself at his upcoming murder trial. 

The trial judge, Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe, Jr.,had ordered a new mental competency report last month after Thomas J. Ullmann, the head of New Haven’s public defender’s office, asked Judge O’Keefe to revoke Dr. Wang’s status to represent himself at trial—and to substitute Ullmann instead.

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Legal War Develops In Wang Murder Case

by marcia chambers | Feb 25, 2015 12:35 pm | Comments (2)

WTNH-Pool A legal war between Dr. Lishan Wang and the public defender’s office has prompted a Superior Court judge to permit the appointment of a special public defender as Dr. Wang’s stand-by counsel in his murder case.

But that doesn’t mean the public defender’s office is out of the case.

Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe Jr. told Dr. Wang (at right in photo) during a court hearing in New Haven yesterday that after Jeffrey LaPierre, his stand-by public defender, leaves for a military commitment in March, the judge will appoint an as yet unnamed special public defender, a criminal attorney from outside the public defender’s office. 

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Two Branford Women Convicted In Gifting Tables Tax Cases

by marcia chambers | Feb 17, 2015 12:17 pm | Comments (1)

The so-called gifting tables recently produced two more gifts for the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven, this time involving two women who live in Branford.  They are the latest women to be convicted for failing to pay taxes on the bounty they received in what was actually an illegal pyramid scheme.

Unlike the major players in the gifting table fraud, these women are not charged with fraud. Both pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, and one was sentenced last week to probation.   

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Ullmann Steps In

by marcia chambers | Feb 5, 2015 8:00 am | Comments (1)

Melissa Bailey File Photo

In a bombshell development in the Dr. Lishan Wang murder case, the head of New Haven’s public defender’s office, Thomas J. Ullman, asked a judge to revoke Wang’s status to represent himself at trial—and to substitute Ullmann as his attorney.

Dr. Wang appealed to the judge to turn down the request.

At the outset of a hearing Wednesday morning at the Church Street courthouse, Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe, Jr. told Dr. Wang that Ullmann (pictured) had filed a motion “to remove you as your own attorney and to substitute the public defender’s office.” The judge also said he will rule on whether Ullman has standing to make the motion in the first place. 

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Yale Asks Judge To Quash Wang Subpoena

by marcia chambers | Jan 4, 2015 10:47 am

A Yale University attorney Friday asked a Superior Court judge to quash Dr. Lishan Wang’s subpoena seeking the personnel records of Dr. Vanjinder Toor, the man Dr. Wang is accused of gunning down outside his Branford condo in 2010.

Dr. Toor was a post-doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine, skilled in the area of infectious diseases, when he was killed. He was 34. Now Dr. Wang seeks Dr. Toor’s personnel records along with all disciplinary and human resources records connected to his education and to his Yale employment. He also seeks to review Dr. Toor’s evaluations, recommendations and applications for jobs, licenses and training.   

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This Video Shows Why Cops Welcome Body Cams

by marcia chambers | Dec 15, 2014 2:54 pm | Comments (3)

While the nation debates whether to outfit cops with body cameras, Branford’s officers are already walking the walk—and praising the results.

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The Media Wins One

by Thomas B. Scheffey, Connecticut Law Tribune | Dec 3, 2014 4:03 pm

Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini has vacated an order forbidding The Connecticut Law Tribune from publishing a story about a child custody case.

Daniel Klau, the Hartford lawyer who has been representing the Law Tribune, said the judge issued “a nine-page order, explaining why he vacated his injunction.” The entire order, like the other rulings in this matter, remain under seal, and Klau has been ordered not disclose them to his client.

“The judge also declined to stay his order to vacate,” said Klau, “which means the future appellate review of the matter is unknown.”

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