TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An Tso "Edward" Sun (孫安佐), the Taiwanese exchange student arrested in March for allegedly threatening to "shoot up" a private school in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, appears to be preparing to enter a plea deal deal with prosecutors, just as his hearing is due to take place later today (April 25) in the U.S., according to a CNA report.
Sun's attorney Robert C. Keller is preparing to abandon the right to a hearing and go directly to the trial stage in order to enter a plea bargain agreement, said Upper Darby superintendent Michael Chitwood in an interview with CNA.
According to the schedule released yesterday by the Delaware County District Court in Pennsylvania, Sun's court hearing on the case will still be held today at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Sun faces charges of making "terroristic threats" for telling a classmate that he would "shoot up" their school and for possessing "instruments of crime" including a 9 mm handgun and 1,600 rounds of ammunition. As for the first charge, Sun's celebrity mother Di Ying (狄鶯) says the threats were "just a joke," while the second charge will be more problematic due to the large quantity of ammunition, according to forensic scientist Henry Lee.
Assorted ammunition police found to be in Sun's possession. (Photo by CBS 3)
Since he was arrested on March 26, Sun has been held in the Delaware County Jail in lieu of US$100,000 bail. An American attorney familiar with the case told Apple Daily, "If it is really identified as a crime involving transnational or intercontinental terrorist attacks under federal law, Sun is likely to be sentenced to 10 years."
On March 31, Sun's celebrity parents Di Ying (狄鶯), a Taiwanese opera singer, and Sun Peng (孫鵬), an actor, landed in the U.S. to mount a defense for their son.
On April 8, Taiwanese attorney Chiu Chang (邱彰) said that Sun's parents would try to help him avoid jail time by proving that he suffered mental illness.
Sun firing a flamethrower. (Screenshot of An Tso Sun YouTube video)