Teen pleads guilty to murder of his teacher - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teen pleads guilty to murder of his teacher

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After the plea deal was made Tuesday morning, Marmolejo addressed the court with a statement he prepared. After the plea deal was made Tuesday morning, Marmolejo addressed the court with a statement he prepared.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The teen charged in the murder of his teacher pleaded guilty to second degree murder in court Tuesday.

Eduardo Marmolejo, 18, stabbed his teacher, Suzette York, during the first week of school in August 2011.

As a result of the plea deal, Marmolejo will serve 35 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

In addition to being Marmolejo's teacher, York was also the principal at Memphis Junior Academy.

Investigators believe the teen began planning to kill York at the end of the previous school year in May 2011.

After the plea deal was made Tuesday morning, Marmolejo addressed the court with a statement he prepared.

It read:

"I address the court by first saying, I apologize for my bad behavior. It was wrong what I did. I should not have done it because it not only hurt Ms. York, but her family and her friends, her husband, and it not only hurt me, but my family and friends and people who take their kids to school. There is already too much violence in the world, especially in the schools. Instead of thinking and trying to help to make things better, I made it worse. So, I ask for forgiveness from everyone who was involved in this case. I have changed and repented of my bad thinking and doings. I am doing things to better my life and make it not just for me but for everyone I come in contact and meet in the future to try to help encourage them and help them make better decision so that they don't mess up their lives like me and so many others. I am now in a better state of mind and thinking. I am alive and I have given my life to Jesus and I just want to say God bless to everyone who heard this message and I encourage people to try to do the right thing, not what you think is the right thing, but what the right thing is. And again, just God bless everyone."

After he folded his piece of paper up, Marmolejo continued, "You know, I've been done a lot of thinking and praying and I just want people to know that I'm not the same man I used to be, I'm a better man and I know for the fact that everything is going to start getting better for me and everyone else, because I know this is a moment, that's all I can say, it is a moment wrapped up here in time, the pain will start to erase and the healing will start to begin and... that's all I got."

The teen's defense attorney, Leslie Ballin, said there are no winners in the case. He said his client battled emotional issues from a young age and may continue to do so, despite his parents seeking help for him.

"You look for explanations for actions in these cases; there are no rational explanations," he said.

"He did murder Mrs. York in a horrific way," said the prosecutor, Reggie Henderson. "He's paying the penalty for that now based on a negotiated plea."

Prosecutors say the victim's mother and husband approved of the plea deal.

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