Plaskon appears in court; remains on suicide watch

Christopher Plaskon, the 16-year-old Jonathan Law High School student accused of stabbing his classmate Maren Sanchez to death at school last week, remains on a suicide watch and was transferred today to a state correctional facility in Cheshire.

Plaskon made a brief appearance in Milford Superior Court today, where Judge Frank Iannotti scheduled a probable cause hearing for June 4.

According to Plaskon's attorneys, Plaskon cannot enter a plea on the charge of murder until a probable cause hearing is held.

The 16-year-old boy, who will turn 17 this month, wore handcuffs, a light blue sweatshirt and dark sweat pants when he appeared in Milford Superior Court Friday morning.

Plaskon's parents are in seclusion and were not in court with their son. Instead an uncle, Paul Healy, stood with him as guardian for today's proceedings.

Plaskon was released from emergency psychiatric commitment at an undisclosed location this morning and was transferred to the Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire, which his attorneys Edward Gavin and Richard Meehan described as an “age appropriate” facility, housing 14 to 21-year-olds.

Plaskon will continue to take prescribed medication and remains under constant watch. He is being held on a $3 million bond.

Plaskon is still showing signs of an “active psychosis,” Meehan said,  but he wouldn't elaborate on that.

Competency is a different issue, however, his attorney explained to press outside the courthouse. “He definitely understands he is charged with murder and he understands who we are,” Meehan said.

But Gavin added that competency is an “ongoing determination” and can change.


Plaskon's parents wanted to attend Friday's hearing but Meehan said he advised against it, suggesting to them that “the process is overwhelming.”

The family has been in seclusion since shortly after the attack last Friday. “This is just too much for them to have to deal with,” Meehan said. He believes the parents will be with their son when he next appears in court.

He described the family as “numb” right now.

The Plaskon family is fairly large, and Meehan said Christopher Plaskon is close with the uncle who stood next to him in court today and he “is close with his entire family.”

“All their hearts are broken,” Meehan said. “This is certainly not anything anyone expected to happen."

What next?

State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor said the police investigation is continuing and he believes police are still focusing on prom as a possible motive.

Friends and social media have suggested Plaskon killed Maren because she was not going to the prom with him.

“The taking of any life is a horrible tragedy,” Lawlor said.

But when a murder takes place inside a school and the victim is so young and promising, it's even worse, Lawlor suggested.

The state’s attorney cautioned that at this point, Plaskon is “presumed innocent,” but if the court finds him guilty, Lawlor said he will push to make sure he is “punished appropriately.”

If the murder goes to trial, Lawlor said he sees no reason it can't be held in Milford.

A change of venue makes no sense, Lawlor said, because with the Internet age and considerable media presence, news about the stabbing at Jonathan Law High School has known no boundaries.