Share this story...
Latest News

Settlements reached in lawsuit over school stabbing death

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man who stabbed a high school classmate to death after she rejected his prom invitation agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s mother.

Christopher Plaskon, 20, and his parents reached agreements with Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez, according to a document filed last week in Milford Superior Court. Details have not been disclosed and the settlements are pending approval in a probate court, where a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19.

Plaskon fatally stabbed 16-year-old Maren Sanchez in a hallway of Jonathan Law High School in Milford on the morning of April 25, 2014, the day of the junior prom. Sanchez’s friends said she had been looking forward to going with her boyfriend to the prom, which was postponed because of her death.

Plaskon also was 16 at the time. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year after pleading no contest to a murder charge.

Sanchez was a member of the National Honor Society and active in drama and other school activities.

Plaskon’s lawyer, Peter Ponziani, said Thursday that he could not comment on a pending lawsuit.

Cimarelli-Sanchez, her lawyer and an attorney for Plaskon’s parents did not return messages seeking comment Thursday.

“Settlement is pending in probate court … and will require some time to complete even after the probate hearing, assuming probate approval of the settlement is granted,” said a joint court motion filed by Cimarelli-Sanchez and the city of Milford.

The part of the lawsuit against the city and its school board remains pending. It alleges that Plaskon’s parents and school officials could have prevented the killing by taking appropriate steps to address his mental illness.

Plaskon’s parents and city officials filed court documents denying wrongdoing.

Plaskon’s lawyers have indicated in court documents that they plan to have a psychiatrist testify that Plaskon was mentally ill and couldn’t control himself when he stabbed Sanchez, if the civil case goes to trial.

Plaskon’s parents told authorities that he had possible depression, suicidal tendencies, self-mutilating behavior and mood swings. Other court documents said Plaskon heard voices in his head that made him kill the girl.

While prosecutors have said there was evidence from several sources that the attack was prompted by Sanchez’s rejection of Plaskon’s prom invitation, Plaskon’s lawyer at the criminal trial, Edward Gavin, said the stabbing wasn’t related to the prom but he did not elaborate.

___

This story has been corrected to show Plaskon was sentenced in June 2016, not June 2017.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.