News | 12:13 pm | May 11, 2010 | By Egidio DiBenedetto

Accused murderer to give DNA sample

Lishan Wang was arraigned April 27 at the New Haven Superior Courthouse on Elm Street.
Lishan Wang was arraigned April 27 at the New Haven Superior Courthouse on Elm Street. Photo by Egidio DiBenedetto.

Lishan Wang, the man accused of murdering Yale postdoctoral fellow Vajinder Toor, was ordered in court this morning to give a saliva sample of his DNA this afternoon.

Wang appeared in New Haven Superior Court, where Judge Roland Fasano granted the prosecution’s motion to retrieve the samples from Wang. The motion for “non-testimonial evidence” was filed by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Eugene Calistro last Friday and will allow the Branford Police Department to analyze Wang’s saliva by performing two cheek swabs this afternoon, Fasano said.

The hearing lasted only a few minutes, and Wang did not enter a plea.

After Wang’s defense attorneys did not object to the motion, Fasano addressed Wang directly, telling him that law enforcement officials are not permitted to question him while taking the samples so he has the right to remain silent at that time.

Fasano added that a decision cannot yet be made on whether Wang will have a probable cause hearing, which will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a full trial; the discovery process, during which the prosecution collects evidence, is still ongoing, Fasano said. He said he would rule on whether Wang will have a probable cause hearing at Wang’s next court appearance, on June 15.

Wang, 44, remained silent throughout Tuesday’s hearing, his second court appearance after his arrest and arraignment about two weeks ago. Dressed in a large green prison jumpsuit and handcuffed, he stood with his head bowed beside his team of lawyers and listened to his court-appointed Mandarin interpreter.

Toor, 34, a postdoctoral clinical fellow at the School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, was shot and killed outside his home in Branford, Conn., on April 26. According to a police report, Wang admitted he was at the crime scene moments before Toor was shot and said he was sorry for what had happened.

Toor was formerly Wang’s boss at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, where in May of 2008 Toor and two other employees at the center were involved in a confrontation with Wang that resulted in Wang’s firing. When police arrested Wang on April 26 and searched the mini-van he was driving, they found pictures of all three of the bosses Wang blamed for his dismissal and Google Maps directions to Toor’s house, in addition to three handguns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Wang, who lives in Georgia with his wife and three children, is detained on a $2 million bond.

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