Teen accused of principal's murder ordered to adult court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teen accused of principal's murder ordered to adult court

Eduardo Marmolejo Eduardo Marmolejo

(WMC-TV) - A Juvenile Court judge has ruled the 17-year-old charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Christian school principal will be transferred to adult court.

Eduardo Marmolejo is charged with killing 49-year-old Suzette York last month at Memphis Junior Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist school of about 100 students.

Marmolejo told investigators he had planned to stab the woman on the third day of classes, when he knew he'd be alone with her in a classroom, police have said.

Marmolejo told police he wanted to kill York because he did not like her and she had made him angry.

In Juvenile Court today Dr. John Ciocca, a psychologist for the defense, testified the teenager had fantasies that he was a ninja and was unfit to be transferred to adult court. However, the judge didn't agree with the psychologist's assessment and ordered Marmolejo to adult court. At this point, it's not clear when he'll be moved.

"Dr. Ciocca indicated that he did not have a present rational ability to assist that his lines were blurred between fantasy and reality and it was difficult," said Marmolejo's attorney Autumn Chastain.  "And it could pose problems with him being able to make a rational decision as to what direction the case would take."

Prosecutors said the teen began planning the murder last May.

"Basically, he gave the investigative team specific information on how he did it, when he did it, how long he had been planning to do it," said prosecutor Reggie Henderson.

Prosecutors said York was murdered because Marmolejo felt some of his privileges had been taken away.  

An investigator testified that minutes after the stabbing, Marmolejo said that he was in the bathroom when the stabbing occurred.  Hours later, under questions, Marmolejo admitted that he killed York.

Marmolejo's attorneys said they are not sure how the teen will plead.

Prosecutors said if Marmolejo is convicted, his penalty will be life with parole.

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