A woman charged with the first-degree murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her father in an allegedly staged home invasion, testified for the first time on Tuesday at her trial.

Jennifer Pan, 28, told the court she once hatched a plan to have some friends kill her father, Huei Hann Pan, who she said controlled most aspects of her life.

But, she claims to have abandoned that plan later when she "realized how real it was." 

Her boyfriend, Daniel Wong, negotiated an $8,500 cancellation fee, she testified. Wong and three other men are also on trial, facing the same charges. All five defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Pan said she then changed the target of the killing to herself.

Web of 'complicated' lies

Pan told the court about a complicated adolescence.


Jennifer Pan, middle, is shown carrying incense at her mother's funeral. She testified for the first time Tuesday at her first-degree murder and attempted murder trial. (Sing Tao Daily)

She said she started lying to her parents in high school — first about her grades and later about her romantic relationships.

The lies spiralled out of control, and she eventually lied to everyone about attending university, graduating from a pharmacology program and being employed at The Hospital for Sick Children.

The lies were becoming "complicated," she said. Even though she had trouble keeping track of her untruths, she felt the need to keep the ruse going.

"It would bring such shame and embarrassment to my family," she said. "They would be ostracized from the rest of my extended family."

Testimony will continue over several days

Pan was at home with her parents, Huei Han and mother Bich Ha Pan, on Nov. 8, 2010 when several people broke into the home.

The parents were taken downstairs and shot. The mother died of her injuries at the scene, but Huei Han managed to escape and survived.

Pan was initially considered a victim, but police arrested her on November 22 and laid charges against her the next day.

Several of Pan's former co-workers attended the trial Tuesday. They said the version of Pan they saw in court today was not the same as the women they knew from work.

Pan's testimony is expected to continue for several days.