The prosecution rests in John Odgren’s Massachusetts murder trial. The 19-year-old Princeton resident fatally stabbed 15-year-old James F. Alenson, fellow student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on January 19, 2007. Odgren, who was 16 at the time of the fatal stabbing, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
While Odgren doesn’t deny stabbing Alenson, who he didn’t know and just happened to encounter in a boys’ bathroom that day, his criminal defense team is arguing that he cannot be held criminally responsible for his actions because he isn’t sane enough. Odgren’s Massachusetts murder attorney called him a “geeky” bully magnet who was ‘psychotic’ and ‘delusional’ when he stabbed Alenson. One witness testified that on the day that the murder happened, Odgren had watched a violent video showing cartoon characters stabbing and shooting each other and that red blood blasted out of their injuries.
Odgren has a mild form of autism known as Asperger’s and suffers from depression. He also has developmental disabilities and is mentally ill. Bipolar disorder runs in the family. His mother has it. Four of his relatives ended up committing suicide.
Odgren randomly picked Alenson as his target on the day that he came to school with a butcher knife (a 12-inch knife with a near-8 inch blade). The 15-year-old freshman sustained multiple stab wounds, including wounds to the liver, lung, and heart, and defensive wounds. He died on the bathroom floor.
Jurors in Middlesex superior Court are tasked with deciding whether Odgren is guilty of murder or should be found not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility. Prior to Alenson’s murder, Odgren had never been in trouble with the law. He was the one who was the target of ridicule and bullying by other kids.
Classmate: Odgren said ‘I’m not going to kill you’, Boston.com, April 14, 2010
Gruesome crime scene, painful death described in Odgren, Boston Herald, April 16, 2010
Prosecution Rests In Odgren Trial, WBZ, April 16, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Bipolar Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health
Massachusetts homicide laws are complex. It is important that you have an experienced Boston murder defense attorney representing you or your loved one.