MILFORD, Conn. – The 16-year-old Connecticut high school junior charged with the stabbing death of a classmate who may have turned down his prom invitation is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and likely will be tried as an adult, his attorney said on Saturday.
The teen is accused of stabbing fellow junior Maren Sanchez, 16, at Jonathan Law High School in Milford on Friday, lacerating her neck, chest and face with a knife recovered at the scene.
He was charged with her murder as a juvenile offender, and authorities have withheld his identity because of his age. While the suspect is in a psychological medical facility, he remains in police custody, police said.
Sanchez was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital shortly after the 7:15 a.m. attack on Friday, the day of the junior prom, said Milford Police Chief Keith Mello.
Sanchez, an honour student, junior class president and a popular athlete, posted a photo of herself online in a prom dress last month. The prom was postponed due to the killing.
Police said on Saturday they were still investigating reports from students and teachers that the suspect had asked Sanchez to go to the prom with him and whether a rejection prompted the attack. They offered no other motive in the slaying.
The suspect will likely remain at the psychiatric centre for up to 15 days, said Edward Gavin, one of his lawyers.
"His family is obviously devastated and expresses heartfelt condolences to the family of (Maren Sanchez)," Gavin said.
He said his client would not attend a scheduled arraignment in juvenile court in New Haven on Monday.
Friends honoured Sanchez during a Friday night candlelight vigil at a beach in Milford, a seaside suburban town about 11 miles from New Haven and 60 miles from New York City. Dozens of students wore their long prom dresses and tuxedos.