A prom day stabbing has led to an insanity plea for Christopher Plaskon, who admits murdering a female classmate to death just hours before the school’s junior prom.
The 17-year-old Connecticut boy admits to killing 16-year-old Maren Sanchez in a staircase hallway at Jonathan Law High School one year ago, but lawyers argue that the teen was suffering from”mental disease or defect and or extreme emotional disturbance” at the time of the stabbing.
Plaskon was taking anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety drugs at the time of the attack, and was on suicide watch at one point, lawyer Richard Meehan argued. He added that Plaskon displayed “certain behaviors” at the time of the stabbing that led them to seek an insanity defense, but he did not go into detail on these behaviors.
Meehan is asking for the prom day stabbing suspect to be tried by a panel of three judges, noting that juries generally are not open to insanity pleas.
“Juries in insanity-defense cases have not historically issued verdicts favorable to defendants,” he said.
With the plea, prosecutors are now asking for 90 days to conduct a psychiatric evaluation.
Police said the prom day stabbing took place after Maren Sanchez turned down Plaskon’s invitation to the dance. The 17-year-old allegedly made incriminating statements after the stabbing, telling police: “I did it, just arrest me.”
The murder made national headlines and sent shockwaves through the small Connecticut community. Plaskon’s own family issued a statement of condolence for the Sanchez family.
“Please know that you are forever in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers. We join with the entire Milford community to celebrate the life and mourn the loss of this most vibrant and exceptional young woman.”
Sanchez’s family has also made sure that she is an important part of the proceedings.
“We’re here as promised, committed to stay the course that Maren Sanchez be front and center in these proceedings,” said Anthony Bonadies, a lawyer for Jose Sanchez, Maren’s father, at this week’s hearing.
The prom day stabbing case will continue later this summer. A judge has schedule a return court date for Christopher Plaskon on July 7. He faces up to 60 years in prison, or could be detained at a maximum security psychiatric hospital if found not guilty by reason of insanity. There he would be held indefinitely until a decision is made that he is no longer a threat to himself or others — which legal experts point out is often longer than a murder conviction itself.
[Image via Freep.com]