Anna L. Tang is moving from Framingham to Brighton while under house arrest to be closer to her trial and the class she is taking at Boston University.
Tang, the former Wellesley student who stabbed MIT student Wolfe B. Styke ’11 in 2007, was being treated for mental illness prior to the stabbing. Judge Bruce R. Henry approved the move on Friday.
The defense and prosecution both expect that the move will allow the court’s Probation department to reduce the amount of time Tang is permitted to leave her home given that her transit time will be less.
Also before the court on Friday was Tang’s motion to exclude the report of the Commonwealth’s expert witness from her trial. That report, authored by forensic psychologist Alison Fife, reflected Fife’s change of opinion about Tang’s criminal responsibility for the stabbing. Fife had originally opined Tang was not criminally responsible for her actions in the stabbing, the defense said. Tang waived her right to a jury trial on that basis.
The trial was then suspended while both sides figured out what to do. The legal proceedings remain in a indeterminate state.
Judge Henry denied the defense’s motion to exclude Fife’s change in opinion. The Commonwealth argued that the defense had had 77 days to process the change in information, and that by the time the trial was scheduled and continued, would have several more months. The judge appeared convinced by the Commonwealth’s argument.
A large open question remains whether Tang’s trial will resume as a bench trial before a judge, as it was in June. The other possibility is that the defense may move for a jury trial. Tang’s lawyer has requested additional time to make that decision in consultation with Tang’s mother, who is currently in China dealing with administrative matters resulting from the death of Tang’s father. He passed away this summer from terminal cancer.
On the assumption that the trial will continue as a bench trial before Judge Henry, the trial has been tentatively set to begin on December 1.
The next status conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, October 7 at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, MA. The defense is expected to present its decision about whether to continue with a jury-waived bench trial, or whether Tang will ask for a jury trial.