Mass. Teen Will Serve Life Sentence for School Stabbing

WOBURN, Mass.—A former student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High   School was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing another student.

The now 19-year-old John Odgren stabbed 15-year-old James Alenson in the boys’ bathroom at the high school on Jan. 19, 2007. Odgren’s defense team said he was legally insane when the incident occurred, citing that he had a history of emotional problems and disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism – attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression, according to

Additionally, Odgren’s father testified that his son had a genius-level IQ and was often teased and harassed at various schools he attended.

However, prosecutors said Odgren carried a carving knife to school and picked Alenson as a random victim. Prior to the incident, the two had never met. Furthermore, a state certified psychiatrist said the defendant was aware of what he was doing and the consequences when he attacked Alenson.

A first-degree murder sentence carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility for parole. Had the jury, which deliberated for three days, found Odgren not guilty by reason of insanity, he would have been sent to a psychiatric hospital until it was ruled he was no longer a danger to society.

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