Charles Tan's booking photo. Courtesy of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Hundreds of people have donated to the legal defense fund of Charlie Tan, the Cornell student accused of killing his father this week.

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Tan, 19, was charged with second-degree murder and arrested after law enforcement found his father dead in their Pittsford home, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

After Tan’s arrest, Tan’s lawyer James Nobles appeared on the radio and issued a statement saying that there was a history of domestic violence in the Tan home.

“We’re doing our own investigation, but one thing that’s certainly clear is a history of domestic violence in that home for more than twenty years,” Nobles told WHAM radio, also noting that his client has no prior criminal record.

As of Friday morning, the fundraiser on “GiveForward.com” had raised $46,718, or 62 percent of its $75,000 goal. “He would protect any of his friends and anybody who loved him,” the page’s organizer, Anna Valentine, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Valentine writes on the fundraising page:

Please help us raise money to support Charlie Tan and his family in this tough time!

He has been a strong, supportive, friendly member of the Pittsford Community and it is our turn to give back to him. We are hoping to show all the love he has behind him as we raise money to help fund his defense. The amount you choose to donate is not as important as the fact that we are all showing our support and sticking together to help out Charlie’s cause.

A string of sympathetic comments accompanying the donations includes messages like:

— “God Bless you Charlie. We are praying for you. Stay strong.”

— “Hi Charlie, I don’t know you, but, I am a mother of 2 kids your age. I feel so sorry and sad to hear what you are going through. Just want you to know that our prayer is with you and your family. Stay strong! Hugs!”

— “Charlie, It hurts me to know you were in so much pain. You’re an amazing kid that does not deserve any of this. I 100% believe you acted here the way you always have; with the best intentions (I’ve known you since you were 11 and I’ve never seen you do anything but help people)”

There’s also an accompanying video of Tan’s “Random Acts of Kindness” that was made in 2012:

Law enforcement have said Charlie Tan shot his father multiple times with a shotgun, striking him the chest, arm, neck and face.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.