Connecticut teen charged with fatally stabbing classmate on prom day to use insanity defense



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MILFORD, Connecticut — A 17-year-old Connecticut boy charged with stabbing a classmate to death in school on their prom day intends to use an insanity defense, his lawyer said Monday.

Christopher Plaskon is charged with murder for allegedly killing 16-year-old Maren Sanchez in a hallway at Jonathan Law High School in Milford in April 2014, just hours before their junior prom. Police have said they were looking into whether the attack was related to Sanchez's refusal to be Plaskon's prom date.

Plaskon's lawyer, Richard Meehan, released new court documents Monday saying he intends to pursue a defense of "mental disease or defect and/or extreme emotional disturbance." Meehan didn't elaborate but has said in court that Plaskon was taking anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications.

Plaskon is due in Milford Superior Court for a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

Sanchez, a member of the National Honor Society who was active in drama and other school activities, had been focused on prom in the days before her death. She had posted a photograph on Facebook of her blue prom dress and was looking forward to attending with a new boyfriend.

Authorities say Plaskon attacked Sanchez in a hallway on a Friday morning on the day of the prom, fatally stabbing her in the neck and torso. Afterward, Plaskon told a police officer, "I did it. Just arrest me," according to police.

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

Plaskon pleaded not guilty last year and chose a trial before a three-judge panel instead of a jury. While jury verdicts must be unanimous, a three-judge panel can reach a verdict with a split 2-1 vote.

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