Courtesy of New Haven Police Department

The ongoing felony trial for the alleged murder of Yale graduate student Kevin Jiang ENV ’22 was extended on May 3, as Qinxuan Pan was given more time to plead guilty or innocent because he has not seen all the state-provided evidence against him. 

In a March 3 hearing at the New Haven County Courthouse, Pan appeared alongside his attorney Kevin Smith. Connecticut Superior Court Judge Gerald Harmon has extended the case another month to give Pan time to access and read the prosecution’s evidence against him. Pan is currently held under a bond of nearly $20 million. ​​Judge Harmon ordered the prosecution to make its evidence available to Pan, which he will review in his prison library. At an undetermined time after the next scheduled state court hearing on April 5, Pan will plead guilty or not guilty.

​“The state [is] providing additional discovery” to Smith and his client, Harmon said, according to the New Haven Independent.

On the steps of the courthouse after the hearing, Smith suggested that staffing shortages in the Connecticut Department of Corrections were making it difficult for Pan to access the prison library. Previous reporting indicates the department has been facing staffing issues.

Collin Walker, an employee from the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, told the Connecticut Insider that “we’ve been so low on staffing levels,” in part due to COVID-19. A September 2021 internal report shared with the Connecticut Examiner found that Connecticut correctional facilities had 406 staffing vacancies. 

Pan must read through thousands of pages of evidence in his correctional facility, Smith said. 

Pan, 30, is charged with one count of felony murder for the death of Jiang on Feb. 6, 2021. In May 2021, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that they had arrested Pan in Alabama after a three-month long manhunt. Pan had $19,000 in cash, his father’s Chinese passport and several cellphones with him, according to prosecutors.

Jiang, 26, was an environmental scientist and engineering operator in the U.S. Army National Guard before he began his studies at the Yale School of the Environment. Jiang’s fiancée Zion Perry GRD ’26 had crossed paths with Pan when they both attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but the motives for Jiang’s murder remain unclear. 

Pan’s next hearing will take place at the New Haven County Courthouse on 235 Church St. on April 5. 

Charlotte Hughes reports on climate and environmental issues in New Haven. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she is a freshman in Branford College majoring in English.