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Connecticut teen accused in slashing death of classmate pleads not guilty

By Leigh Remizowski, CNN
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
  • Christopher Plaskon, 17, was charged with murder as an adult in the slaying of a classmate
  • Maren Sanchez, 16, died after being stabbed in a school stairwell on April 25
  • Plaskon's lawyer says his client is considering a possible mental health defense

(CNN) -- A 17-year-old Connecticut high school student pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the slashing death of a classmate in a school stairwell in April, a court official said.

Christopher Plaskon appeared in Milford Superior Court, where he waived his right to a probable cause hearing and elected to be tried by a three-judge panel rather than a 12-member jury, according to clerk Linda Kautzner.

His attorney, Richard Meehan Jr., told CNN that he is considering a mental health defense.

Plaskon is suspected of slashing classmate Maren Sanchez, 16, at Jonathan Law High School in Milford on April 25. He was 16 at the time.

A witness saw Plaskon on top of the victim and tried unsuccessfully to pull him away, according to a probable cause statement in the case. Another witness allegedly saw him discarding a bloody knife in a school corridor.

The state medical examiner's office concluded that Sanchez died from "stab wounds to the trunk and neck" and ruled the death a homicide.

Though the motive remains under investigation, police were looking into whether the boy was angry after Sanchez rejected him as a prom date.

"I did it," Plaskon allegedly told a school police officer in the principal's office moments after the crime, according to the probable cause statement. "Just arrest me."

Plaskon was ordered held on $3 million bond in April. He was charged as an adult and faces 25 to 60 years in prison if convicted.

His next court appearance is July 30, Kautzner said.

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