The accused murderer of a Yale clinical fellow was deemed competent to stand trial Monday.
Lishan Wang, who has been charged with killing Dr. Vajinder Toor in April 2010, was ruled mentally fit for trial by New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano. The ruling comes after the court decided that Wang was unfit to stand trial in September 2010.
An expert psychiatrist testified in December that Wang had been restored to mental competence, but the defense successfully argued for more time. State law mandates that a defendant have the capacity to understand court proceedings in order to stand trial.
Fasano said on Monday that Wang understands his trial and the charges against him “as well as any of us here and far better than most of the defendants we see in court,” the New Haven Register reported.
Wang and Toor had met in 2008 at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn where they both worked. In May 2008, Toor and two other employees confronted Wang about allegedly shirking his responsibilities, and Wang was summarily fired from the center.
Nearly two years later, Wang allegedly shot Toor multiple times in the parking lot outside Toor’s condominium and also tried but failed to shoot Toor’s wife. After police arrested Wang in his car shortly afterward, they reportedly found pictures in Wang’s red minivan of all three of the superiors whom Wang blamed for his dismissal. Three handguns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and Google Maps directions to Toor’s home were also in his vehicle.
Wang is charged with murder, carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, criminal attempt to commit murder, possession of a handgun with no permit and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
Wang’s competency was first called into question on Aug. 17 when Wang attempted to dismiss his public defenders and represent himself. This request, along with a refusal to talk with his court-appointed lawyers and a suicide threat, led Fasano to request a competency evaluation of Wang. After multiple testimonies in 2010, Wang’s competency hearing was again continued last week by Fasano after testimonies from expert psychiatrists for both the defense and the prosecution.
Wang is charged with shooting Toor on April 26, 2010, outside of the Yale postdoctoral fellow’s home in Branford. In May, he admitted to Branford police officers that he was at the crime scene just before Toor was shot and apologized for what had happened. Although this admission is not a legal confession, the statement is admissible evidence in court.
Wang resided in Georgia with his wife and three children. He is originally from Beijing and, although he speaks English with some degree of fluency, he has used a Mandarin interpreter during previous hearings.
Toor was a first-year fellow in infectious diseases at the Department of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine and a graduate of the Guru Govind Singh Medical College in Punjab, India.