Former MIT researcher sentenced to 35 years for the murder of Yale graduate student

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Qinxuan Pan

24th April 2024 – (Massachusetts) In a New Haven courtroom filled with emotional testimonies, Qinxuan Pan, a 33-year-old former researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Tuesday for the murder of Yale University graduate student Kevin Jiang. Pan, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges in February, expressed remorse for his actions. The sentencing concluded a poignant chapter for the friends and family of Jiang, who had gathered in the courtroom to remember the 26-year-old U.S. Army veteran and environmental studies graduate.

Jiang’s life was tragically cut short on 6th February, 2021, when he was fatally shot multiple times outside his car, shortly after leaving his fiancée’s apartment in New Haven. The incident occurred just days after he and his fiancée had celebrated their engagement, marking a particularly tragic timing of the event.

The case, which puzzled investigators for months, revealed that Pan and Jiang’s fiancée knew each other from their time at MIT and were connected on social media. Despite suspicions and investigations, Jiang’s fiancée clarified that her relationship with Pan was purely platonic, although she sensed Pan’s interest might have been more profound.

After committing the murder, Pan evaded law enforcement for three months, leading to an intense manhunt that concluded with his capture in Alabama. At the time of his arrest, he was found living under an alias, equipped with $19,000 in cash, multiple cellphones, and a passport, indicating possible plans to flee the country. The sentencing marks a significant resolution to a case that captured the attention of academic communities and the public due to its tragic and mysterious circumstances.