(Memphis) A Memphis teen who killed his principal will spend the next three decades in prison after pleading guilty to that crime.
Eighteen-year-old Eduardo Marmolejo pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing his principal, Suzette York, in August of 2011 at Memphis Junior Academy.
Marmolejo was just 16 at the time and says he planned York’s murder for three months, because he did not like her and she made him angry.
He did face first-degree murder charges because he methodically planned to stab his principal when she was alone in a room with him.
“There are no rational explanations. Families have been devastated,” said Marmolejo’s attorney, Leslie Ballin.
Both the prosecution and defense say a trial would have likely ended in a guilty verdict because of all the evidence, especially since he confessed to the murder.
“I think that as a matter of facts and applying those facts into a trial of law a trial would have resulted in guilt of the first degree,” said Ballin.
By pleading to second-degree murder, Marmolejo gets just 35 years instead of life.
Marmolejo will serve all of his sentence, with no chance for parole.
The prosecution said York’s family wanted to take the deal because the pain of her murder was hard enough and they don’t want to relive it in a trial.
“In particular the victim’s husband, this was very difficult for him because of the way he actually came upon the scene. He was a part of it, and it’s a horrific memory for him that he wishes not to relive if he could help it,” said prosecutor Reginald Henderson.
The teen’s family spoke out on the verdict, saying, “We are with Jesus and Jesus has given us the strength to handle this ordeal.”
Marmalejo's attorney, Leslie Ballin, said his client was a, "...loner who had emotional issues in his childhood."