An attorney representing the father of Jonathan Law High School stabbing victim Maren Sanchez was in court Wednesday to say that Jose Sanchez will fight for justice in the wake of his daughter’s death.
Maren Sanchez was a junior at Jonathan Law High School when she was stabbed to death at school on April 25, what would have been the day of her prom. Christopher Plaskon, now 17, is charged with her murder, but has pled not guilty.
Attorney Anthony Bonadies read a statement to the press at Wednesday’s court hearing for Plaskon. In it, he said Jose Sanchez will be involved in the court process as a victim’s advocate to make sure justice is served.
Jose Sanchez “spent a special week” with his daughter when she was in Florida, where he lives, for April vacation from school. That was shortly before Maren was killed, Bonadies said.
“Losing a child is the deepest of all losses,” Sanchez’s attorney said, reading a statement that he and Sanchez had prepared. “This is what Mr. Sanchez is enduring with the loss of Maren. Anyone who knew Maren knew she was special, full of love and life.
“Jose will be a part of the process for justice, to assure that all those that play a part in the process know the magnitude of the loss to Jose and everyone, when Maren was taken.”
Plaskon was in court Wednesday, along with his uncle, Paul Healy, who served as his guardian. Several family members were in attendance, too, including his mother, father and a brother.
Plaskon wore an orange jumpsuit and eyeglasses when he faced Judge Frank Iannotti in the courtroom. The young man’s hair was cut short and neat.
The attorneys involved in the case gave the judge a status report, and Plaskon’s next court date was set for Oct. 16.
The attorneys said they are collecting and reading the investigation and reports compiled by the Milford Police Department, as well as other information, which attorney Richard Meehan said is “voluminous.”
Previously Meehan said they intend to pursue a defense based on their client’s mental status. Meehan, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse today, said there are three avenues for that kind of defense: Extreme emotional disturbance, diminished capacity and the traditional insanity plea.
As they continue to review the material they’ve received, the lawyers will determine their defense strategy. The case will be presented to a three-judge panel, rather than a traditional jury, because Plaskon’s lawyers said they think judges will be better equipped to understand issues surrounding mental illness.
The members of that three-judge panel, and the date of the trial, have not yet been set.
Plaskon is being held at the Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire on $3-million bond. His lawyers in June described him as a “sad and sorrowful youngster,” and said he was on a number of medications, including anti-psychotic and anxiety medication.
Meehan said Wednesday that he did not want to discuss the mental health of Plaskon at this time, nor the medications he is receiving today.
State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor said Maren’s mother and father, who are divorced, have each retained counsel and are being kept informed about the proceedings.
“The victim’s families have a constitutional right to be part of the process,” Lawlor said.
Sources say that Plaskon stabbed Maren because she was not going to the prom with him.
An autopsy report states that Maren died of stab wounds to the trunk and neck, and her death was ruled a homicide.