Memphis principal killed in classroom - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Police: 17-year-old student planned in advance to kill principal

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Suzette York (Source: Seventh-day Adventist Conference) Suzette York (Source: Seventh-day Adventist Conference)
York's body was found around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. York's body was found around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Eduardo Marmolejo is escorted from 201 Poplar to Juvenile Court. Eduardo Marmolejo is escorted from 201 Poplar to Juvenile Court.

(WMC-TV) - Police have officially charged a 17-year-old student with stabbing to death the principal of a private school in Memphis.

Eduardo Marmolejo was charged Thursday with first degree murder in the death of Suzette York, 49, the principal at Memphis Junior Academy.

York's bloody body was found Wednesday morning inside a classroom at the school, located at 50 North Mendenhall in Memphis

According to police, investigators found that Marmolejo planned to kill York prior to the incident occurring. Marmolejo allegedly told investigators he did not like her, and that she had made him angry.

Marmolejo allegedly said he knew he was going to be alone with York, which would give him the opportunity to kill her.

Police took Marmolejo into custody at the scene.  As he was taken downtown in the backseat of a police car to be questioned by homicide investigators, York's friends struggle to understand.

"She's so nice," said Armondo DeLeon, a parent and friend. "That's why I'm kind of shocked. Why? Why to her? Why?"

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton also visited the school to offer condolences and his assurances that the violence was confined to the school.

"It's tragic all the way around," he said.

After York's body was found, school officials dismissed classes, and said the school would be closed for the remainder of the week.

"They just said that there was an emergency and to go pick the children up," Linda Taylor said.

The new school year in the one-story, red brick building began Monday. A sign out front Wednesday said "Welcome back." But school was surrounded by yellow crime scene tape after the body was found, and police officers milled about.

"It's a frightening thing for children to see," said Pastor David Steede of the New Covenant Seventh-day Adventist Church, who arrived at the school shortly after the body was found. He said he had parishioners attending the school.

A spokesperson for the Seventh-day Adventist Conference, which operates the school said York had been principal for more than three years.

The school's website says it has students from pre-kindergarten through 11th grade. It's part of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist school network.

"Our staff is committed to providing quality education is a Christian environment," the website says.

A United Methodist Church and a church cemetery are across the street.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

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