A Milford teen accused in the stabbing death of classmate after she turned him down for the prom appeared in court on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing, but had the case continued.
In December, lawyers on both sides of the case said they discussed a potential plea deal for when Christopher Plaskon. However, they said more work on it needed to be done, so an agreement was not reached.
"Both sides are going back and having discussions with my side, the victim's family, on the defense side with the defendant and his family with the hope of reaching a resolution on at the next court date," said Kevin Lawlor, a prosecutor. "So it's just a wait and see at this point."
"Every case you work towards an exploration of a plea agreement, sometimes you get there, sometimes you don't," said Edward Gavin, defense attorney. "We're in the normal stages here and if it's possible to resolve the case, we will resolve the case. And if it's not, the case will be tried."
They'll try again next month.
Plaskon has pleaded not guilty to killing Maren Sanchez at Jonathan Law High School in 2014. The motive appeared to be Plaskon having a prom invitation rejected by Sanchez, according to documents.
His lawyers have said their defense will focus on their client's mental health status.
In March of 2015, they claimed Plaskon was suffering from mental disease or defect.
Court documents shed light on Plaskon's troubled thoughts. His parents said he struggled for years with mental health issues and knew he was struggling with depression after Sanchez's prom rejection. They insisted to police that they had no idea he was capable of murder.
The documents said Plaskon heard "voices" in his head and that was the reason behind the murder.
"Christopher has been evaluated by my experts as well as the state's experts and it will certainly factor into the discussion here," Gavin said. "If not the primary factor, it's a consideration, no doubt."
Leaving court this morning, Sanchez's family and friends said nothing.
As for a possible plea bargain, the state also had no comment when asked if they would lower the charge from murder to manslaughter.
"He's charged with murder right now and there are discussions as there are in any case about what he'd plea guilty to and what the potential punishment would be," Lawlor said.
Plaskon could face between 25 and 60 years in prison.
"The discussions in the case involve everything," Gavin said. "I only know what he's been charged with at this point and that's what pre-trial discussions are about, anything and everything."
The court documents also touched on heroic efforts from that tragic day. Teacher Marie Reshenk tried to get Plaskon off Sanchez, while teacher Richard Rosen saw Plaskon allegedly throw the knife away.
Plaskon is due back in Milford Superior Court on Feb. 23. If a deal is not reached, Plaskon could be tried by a three judge panel sometime in the spring.
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