Admitted Connecticut prom killer expect to plead insanity

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2015 8:59 AM

By Richard Weizel

MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - Attorneys for a 17-year-old Connecticut boy who admitted nearly a year ago that he stabbed a female classmate to death in a school hallway hours before the junior prom is expected to plead not guilty due to insanity in court on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Christopher Plaskon, charged with murdering 16-year-old Maren Sanchez in a staircase hallway at Jonathan Law High School in April 2014, said in a court filing late Tuesday that they will base his not guilty plea on "mental disease or defect and or extreme emotional disturbance."

Plaskon is due in Superior Court in Milford, Connecticut, Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing.

Plaskon's attorney, Richard Meehan, said last year that his client was taking anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications, and that for a time was on 24-hour suicide watch.

Police say Plaskon attacked Sanchez, junior class president and National Honor Society student, in a hallway on the Friday morning of the prom, fatally stabbing her in the neck and torso. A knife was recovered in a hallway near the crime scene, a police report states. A witness saw Plaskon discard the bloody knife onto a hallway floor, according to the report.

As he was taken into custody, covered in blood, Plaskon told the arresting officer: "I did it. Just arrest me," according to court documents.

Plaskon is being held on $3 million bail, and is being tried as an adult. He faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could be detained at the state's only maximum-security psychiatric hospital in Middletown, or released earlier if doctors determine he is no longer a danger to himself or others.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Lambert)