Christopher Plaskon, the 17-year-old Milford boy accused of killing classmate Maren Sanchez at Jonathan Law High School last April, will rely on an insanity plea as his case moves forward.
According to documents filed earlier this week at Milford Superior Court, Plaskon’s defense will rely on arguments that “at the time of [the] alleged offense he was suffering from a mental disease or defect and/or extreme emotional disturbance.”
The documents filed also state that his attorneys will rely on expert testimony relating to a defense of mental disease or defect.
Plaskon has been undergoing psychiatric evaluations since late last year. His attorney Richard Meehan said earlier in the pretrial hearing process that a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist would be interviewing Plaskon. The psychiatrist was also going to interview Plaskon’s family and others who know him to compile a report about his mental health.
In response to this week’s filings indicating Plaskon’s attorneys will seek an insanity defense, on Tuesday Milford State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor filed a motion for an independent psychiatric evaluation of Plaskon.
Plaskon is scheduled to return to court July 7 for a status report.
Plaskon has pled not guilty to a charge of murder, and his lawyers said in the past that they expected the plea would be based on one of three forms of an insanity plea.
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.
Sources said Plaskon stabbed Maren in a stairwell at Jonathan Law on the morning of April 25 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.
Anthony Bonadies, the attorney representing Maren’s father, spoke to reporters after a brief court appearance last October and issued a statement that he prepared with Maren’s father, Jose Sanchez. According to various media reports, Bonadies attended this week’s hearing, too, to make sure Maren remains a focus as the proceedings continue.
“Maren Sanchez stands for everything good in our society, kind, generous, a beautiful young adult with endless promise,” Bonadies’ October statement read. “When we lose someone like her we all suffer.”
Plaskon is being held at the Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire on $3-million bond.