In the city of New Haven there is an ongoing legal soap opera involving a Chinese immigrant physician by the name of Lishan Wang. Wang, now age 51, shot and killed another doctor, and faces a murder charge in the shooting death of a former work colleague, Doctor Vajinder Toor.
Do you suppose the United States will EVER stop importing freaky physicians?
The murder itself happened 7 years ago, and the reason there has not yet been a trial is because the accused insists on fumbling and bumbling his way through the system as he preps his case. You see, Lishan Wang – as so many other MDs – believes he is smarter than everybody else. He insists on defending himself.
Complicating the matter all to hell, by any measurable criteria, is that Wang is a certifiable mental case, paranoid and defiant at anything that smacks of authority – legal or medical. And this reality sheds considerable light on Wang’s mental state as he prepares for a new competency hearing on April 6. The issue is whether he is even remotely competent to stand trial.
Wang, who insists on representing himself in court with only a standby attorney for advice, has spent years filing legal motions seeking documents from Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York, where both he and Doctor Toor worked. Virtually all of those motions have been denied by Superior Court judges in New Haven, who told Wang that whatever happened at the medical center is irrelevant to his Murder case.
Judges also have repeatedly warned Wang that his continued focus on the “way he was treated” by the victim while working there, is providing the prosecution with probable motive for the homicide. Wang has said the work dispute led to his being fired and ruined his career.
Investigators learned early on that Doctor Wang drove to Connecticut from his home in Georgia on April 26, 2010, and attacked Doctor Toor as he was leaving his Branford condominium.
Toor, age 34 at the time of his death, who was doing postgraduate work at Yale New Haven Hospital, was fatally shot. His wife, then pregnant, escaped gunfire aimed at her by ducking behind a car. She identified Wang as the shooter, as well as the car when he drove away.
The crazed MD was caught within the hour in his car by Branford police and charged with Murder, Attempted Murder – he also fired his handgun at Toor’s pregnant wife – and illegally firing a weapon. He has been held on a $900,000 bail. He writes dozens of legal motions from jail.
New Haven Chief Public Defender Thomas Ullmann has sought a ruling to terminate Wang’s self-representation on the grounds Wang is “mentally ill.”
In addition to repeatedly raising the issue of how he was treated at Kingsbrook in pretrial hearings, Wang has mailed many pages of information to the New Haven Register. These describe his arguments with Toor and why hospital administration terminated Wang’s employment.
One envelope sent to the Register included a letter written by Toor, who was the Chief Resident for Internal Medicine at Kingsbrook. Wang was a resident physician. The letter was written in March 2008 in response to Wang’s complaint to the administrator of the Department of Medicine.
“I always try to be fair and unbiased while dealing with all resident physicians,” Toor wrote, the documents show. “I also try my best not to put anything in writing against any resident physician. It’s unfortunate for me to [have to] write this explanation in response to Dr. Wang’s complaint.”
Among other petty issues, Toor said, “I did not park my car behind Doctor Wang’s car. I did not tell anybody to give Doctor Wang an extra rotation in ER. I did not examine Doctor Wang and I never denied a sick day to anybody who asked for it, including Doctor Wang.”
The documents Wang sent to the Register contain a letter written on May 22, 2008, when the vice president of human resources recommended Wang be terminated, after his investigation of an incident involving Dr. Wang on May 15, 2008.
The charges listed against Wang were: “use of foul language in a public area of the medical center; conducting himself in a physically threatening manner toward another employee of the medical center; lying about his activities and actions on May 15 during the investigation; and unprofessional conduct creating a disruption in a public area in the medical center, thereby undermining the institution.”
Doctor Toor was one of the witnesses to support the charges against Wang at a committee hearing. Doctor Jitendra Patel, the committee chairman, wrote in the “findings of fact” that on May 15, Wang was posted in the ICU. Nurses repeatedly tried locate Wang because of patient needs, but he failed to respond. Toor paged Wang too, but still there was no response. Toor then went to the ICU and provided patient care.
When Toor did reach Wang, “Doctor Wang became argumentative and eventually hung up the phone,” according to the report.
The report stated Toor later found Wang in a lobby of the hospital. When Toor told Wang about the repeated attempts to page him, “Doctor Wang became outraged and began cursing and belittling Doctor Toor in a loud voice. Doctor Wang also took his pen and pointed it directly at Doctor Toor’s nose.” Toor was frightened and backed up but Wang moved closer, according to the report.
The report noted Wang’s actions were witnessed by 2 hospital employees who corroborated Toor’s testimony. In addition, many visitors in the lobby witnessed the confrontation. The report said, “One female visitor was shaking her head in amazement as to what she was witnessing.”
“The committee finds that Doctor Wang acted in an unprofessional manner toward his superior and used foul and abusive language toward another employee in a public area. We also note that Doctor Wang had engaged in similar conduct in the past.”
“There is no reason to believe this doctor is willing to accept any responsibility for his actions. It is the decision of this committee to approve the recommendation of discharge.”
Wang sent a bizarre letter to the Register newspaper entitled “To U.S. media.”
It begins: “Why have you become so quiet, my American friends? Can’t you see the radicals are in your backyards? Terrorists had been terrifying me for years. And you, my coward American friends, you let them slander me, ruin my career and my family. You paraded me in public, humiliated me and lynched me.”
After numerous obscenities, the letter concluded: “Don’t be shy, my American friends. Drum up, the trial is coming!”
Case Update, September 6, 2016:
A judge has determined that a physician accused of fatally shooting another Yale University physician should be medicated against his will, so that he can be competent to stand trial.
New Haven Superior Court Judge Thomas O’Keefe, ruled this week that Doctor Lishan Wang should be given anti-psychotic medications by force. Wang insists he is competent and does not need medications.
Wang, a Chinese immigrant from Beijing, is charged with Murder in the 2010 killing of Doctor Vajinder Toor outside Toor’s home, as well as Attempted Murder for shooting at Toor’s pregnant wife, who wasn’t injured.
Investigators say the shooting was the result an ongoing feud between Wang and multiple doctors who worked together at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York City.
“Connecticut authorities may legally, forcibly administer anti-psychotic medicine on a mentally ill doctor charged in the murder of a Yale University physician so he can be competent to stand trial.” (State Supreme Court)
Justices released a 7-0 decision that rejected the appeal of Lishan Wang, whose lawyer argued that medicating Wang against his will would violate his constitutional rights to a fair trial
Wang represented himself in the case until a judge ruled him incompetent last year and assigned a public defender.
One of Wang’s more bizarre legal moves was his motion to include a “photo analysis” of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Wang quoted “case law” that Oswald’s autopsy report stated he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall but his Marine Corps records reported he was 6 feet, 1 inch. “It is discrepancies such as these which have caused many researchers to believe that the Oswald killed in Dallas may not have been the same Oswald born in New Orleans in 1939,” Wang wrote.
“This is a troubling motion,” O’Keefe told Wang. “It causes me to wonder whether you should represent yourself. This may be evidence of psychotic thinking.”
Wang replied, “I am in my career a scientist. This has nothing to do with being crazy or unreasonable or arrogant.”
“There’s no merit to this motion,” O’Keefe said. “One thing is not at issue: Doctor Toor is dead.”
“He might not be. We need to verify it,” Wang said.