MILFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A Connecticut man has accepted a plea deal after prosecutors said he killed his friend because she wouldn’t go to prom with him.
CBS2’s Lou Young reported Monday that Christopher Plaskon, 18, pleaded no contest for murdering his Jonathan Law High School classmate Maren Sanchez and agreed to serve up to 25 years behind bars. If the state had gone for the maximum penalty, Plaskon could have been sentenced up to 60 years in prison.
Plaskon killed the 16-year-old Sanchez in a brutal knife attack just under two years ago in a murder that gripped the Milford community.
Plaskon’s lawyer told CBS2 the killing was not prompted by Sanchez telling his client she wouldn’t be his prom date.
“It’s not factually accurate, Lou, no it’s not. The fact that it was prom day had nothing to do with Maren Sanchez being attacked,” Ed Gavin told CBS2. “It was a function of him being psychotic. The reality is it could’ve been any of those students. He was delusional. He had auditory and he had visual hallucinations.”
However, state prosecutors said Sanchez was targeted when she turned down Plaskon. They got the defense to accept the plea by not pressing for a maximum sentence.
“This boy is a troubled young man and that is part of the reason why we sought a sentence in the lower range of punishment,” state’s attorney Kevin Lawler told CBS2.
The state made a deal with Plaskon because an insanity defense created uncertainty, despite prosecutors having evidence containing a silver kitchen knife, a blood-covered suspect, an admission at the scene, and a security video in the hallway near the attack.
“It’s impossible to agree,” Lawler said. “It’s a number for them and there is no number, as far as punishment goes, that will bring their loved one back.”
The judge warned Plaskon that the plea deal cannot be withdrawn. The attorney for Jose Sanchez, Marena’s father, told CBS2 he took the news in silence.
“He hasn’t processed the information,” attorney Anthony Bonadies told CBS2.
Plaskon will be sentenced in early June. Even with the 25-year sentence, it is conceivable Plaskon could be on parole in time for his 31st birthday.