MILFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — A 17-year-old Connecticut boy charged in the fatal stabbing of a fellow student on the day of their high school’s prom has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Christopher Plaskon entered the plea Wednesday in Milford Superior Court. He waived his right to a probable cause hearing, and elected for a trial before a three-judge panel rather than a jury. The action proceedings should move along at a faster pace.
The judge said in court Plaskon cannot go back and elect a jury trial unless there was an unusual circumstance.
In the courtroom, Plaskon’s attorneys said their client was lucid and able to answer questions, adding that Plaskon is on a number of medications. Attorneys say they are considering a mental health defense.
“Obviously, we have an obligation to this young man, based on the things we know, to evaluate what his mental state was at the time this was alleged to have happened,” said defense attorney Richard Meehan.
The lead prosecutor was asked if the defense’s decision to go with a three-judge panel will change his strategy.
“From my perspective, it’s irrelevant at this point,” said state’s attorney Keith Lawlor. “It’s the state’s burden to prove that the person accused, Mr. Plaskon, is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and we will endeavor to do that.
Plaskon is charged with killing 16-year-old Maren Sanchez, a friend who was stabbed in April in a hallway at Jonathan Law High School in Milford.
The attack occurred hours before the school’s junior prom. Police are investigating whether it was related to Sanchez’s refusal to be Plaskon’s prom date.
News 8′s Noelle Gardner reporting