Accused in staged home invasion didn’t mean for mom to die
TORONTO – Nearly four years after an apparent home invasion which left 53-year-old Bich Ha Pan dead, the lawyer for the victim’s 27-year-old daughter Jennifer Pan told a jury she had two plans, but neither involved killing her mother.
The first was to have her father shot. When that didn’t work out, she wanted to have herself killed by intruders.
But she thought that had been called off. The mild-mannered woman, wearing a white button-down blouse and black cardigan, admitted she was disgusted by herself due to the web of lies she had concocted since elementary school.
The crown alleged Pan staged the deadly home invasion in November, 2010 so that she could live off their nearly $1-million estate. Pan’s ex-boyfriend Daniel Wong and three other men are also co-accused.
Pan, who lived in Markham with her parents and brother, told the court the lies started to pile up when she failed to graduate.
But not wanting to disappoint her parents, she lied and told them she had been accepted to Ryerson university. Two years later, she pretended she was transferring to the University of Toronto to study pharmaceuticals.
She told the court Tuesday her life was a fabrication: She copied notes from the computer, bought text books and appeared to go to school everyday but she wasn’t a student. She even made up a story as to why they couldn’t attend graduation day but later produced fake diplomas and transcripts.
She also hid from them that she had a boyfriend, despite the fact she was staying with him three nights a week.
Her lawyer, Paul Cooper, asked why she never told her parents about the lies and the betrayals.
“I was conflicted, I was confused, I was not sure what to do,” she said. “Part of me wanted to come clean. On the other side, I knew coming down, it would bring such shame and embarrassment …. they would be ostracized from the rest of the family.”
In 2009, Pan said she was forced to confess to some of her lies when her father offered to drive her to SickKids Hospital where she said she volunteered. That night, her mother called the friend where Pan said she was staying only to learn she wasn’t there. Pan told her parents she had actually taken a correspondence course at the University of Toronto.
She admitted she wasn’t volunteering and told them she was in love. She said her parents punished her by taking away her cellphone and forbid her from seeing her boyfriend.
Pan told the court she stopped seeing her boyfriend but was disappointed. She explained at the time she felt “everything is being taken away from me,” and even when telling her parents the truth, they were never going to believe her.
When Pan’s lawyer asked why not just move out, she said she didn’t want to be abandoned.
“I didn’t want them to abandon me. I would be shamed if I moved out and I wasn’t married,” she said.
Pan will be back on the stand on Wednesday.