MILFORD — A Milford teenager has been sentenced for fatally stabbing a classmate at their high school on junior prom day in 2014.
A judge sentenced Christopher Plaskon, 19, to 25 years in prison Monday in Milford Superior Court.
Plaskon pleaded no contest to murder in March in the killing of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez inside Jonathan Law High School in Milford on April 25, 2014. His family and friends have said he was upset that Sanchez turned down his prom invitation.
Plaskon's attorneys had said he showed signs of psychosis and they considered an insanity defense. Plaskon’s long history of mental health issues contributed to the judge’s decision to sentence him to 25 years, instead of the maximum of 60 years.
The prosecution says Plaskon was upset Maren Sanchez declined his prom invite. His attorney, Edward Gavin, claims medical evaluations indicate he was in a state of psychosis when he stabbed her.
“As he told the probation officer's each and every day, all he thinks about is this should not have happened,” said his attorney, Edward Gavin.
A plea deal was struck three months ago and formalized Monday. Plaskon will serve 25 years, but, due to his age at the time of the crime, state law affords him the opportunity for parole 13 years from now.
“The message that it sends is that if you commit a crime as heinous as murder in the State of Connecticut you're going to do very little time,” Jose Sanchez, Maren Sanchez's Father.
But state's attorney Kevin Lawlor disagreed with what Sanchez said, explaining, “That's when he is eligible for release, not when he would be released. That's up to the board of pardons and paroles.”
Sanchez's family was in court Monday and spoke about her as their "greatest joy." They cried as Plaskon entered the courtroom.
“Maren is in my soul,” said Donna Ciparelli-Sanchez, the victim’s mother. “She walks with me every day.”
Sanchez's parents have filed a lawsuit accusing the school system of negligence, saying she told a guidance counselor that Plaskon was troubled and capable of hurting others. School officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit.
With additional reporting from the Associated Press.