Charlie Tan to sentencing judge: "I acted on impulse"

(WHAM photo)

Syracuse, N.Y. (WHAM) - Federal court documents submitted on behalf of Charlie Tan on Monday request that a judge sentence him to five years in prison.

Defense attorneys for the 23-year-old Tan submitted 38 letters to Judge Scullin, who will be presiding over the sentencing hearing.

One of those letters was written personally by Charlie Tan. In the letter, he admits that on the night his father Jim Tan was killed, he, "acted on impulse," which led him to commit, "a series of immature and irrational decisions."

It is arguably the closest that Tan has ever come to admitting outright that he was the person who shot and killed his father on February 5, 2015 at the family's home on Coach Side Lane in Pittsford.

The submitted summary outlines the circumstances that led to Jim Tan being shot and killed, detailing a 911 call by Jean Tan saying that she had been beaten by her husband and needed protection and Charlie confronting his father over the phone about the situation.

Charlie's letter to Judge Scullin describes his conversation with his father, saying that he, "told me to mind my business, and if she pissed him off again he'll kill her."

“As I reflect on those few days, it is obvious that I acted on perhaps 30% knowledge of the situation. All I knew was that my mother was unusually defeated, and repeatedly told me that he was going to kill her. I felt like there was no other option, that I had to protect her," the letter reads.

“I do think that the way that he presented, answered that first question [How did you end up in this position?] will give Judge Skullin reason to contemplate whether the maximum sentence is appropriate under these circumstances," said William Bauer, a partner of Oviat Gilman, LLP.

Federal prosecutors are recommending a 25-year prison sentence.

“I think the argument here is going to be the consequences already that he and his family has suffered the future consequences of his behavior," Bauer said. "The cultural issues they were facing, and the abuse issues they were facing have to be considered on whether or not sending this young man to prison 20-25 years is necessary. It might be something less than the max, but I think a strong message will be sent that the behavior hear is indeed very, very serious.”

Most of the character reference letters were written in August 2018, more than two months after Charlie had pleaded guilty to the federal weapons charges against him. The letters describe his background and virtues from people ranging from family members to past girlfriends and neighbors to acquaintances. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 19.

Full Letter From Charlie Tan

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