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Friday, January 19, 2007

Update: 16-year-old to face first-degree murder charge in L-S stabbing


The 16-year-old student accused of fatally stabbing a classmate inside a bathroom this morning at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School will be charged as an adult with first-degree murder, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

The suspect, who has not been identified, is scheduled to be arraigned in Framingham District Court at 2 p.m.

"What we believe now is that this is an isolated incident between these two students," Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone Jr. said earlier today at press conference at the school. "There is no thought or belief that anyone else is in danger at this time."

The victim, identified as 15-year-old James Alenson of Sudbury, was rushed to Emerson Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:12 a.m., said Bonnie Goldsmith, a hospital spokeswoman.

There was an altercation in a hallway connected to a bathroom and the 16-year-old suspect stabbed the Alenson with a knife, Leone said.

School officials sent an e-mail notice to parents in Sudbury this morning that said that the stabbing took place at about 7:20 a.m. The other 1,600 students in the school were placed on lock-down for safety reasons and then sent home at about 10 a.m.

Curtis Middle School and all Sudbury elementary schools will continue on a regular schedule today, according to the notice. Staff at those schools have been told about the stabbing, but they will not be telling the students.

"We are obviously heart broken dealing with this," said high school Superintendent and Principal John Ritchie at the press conference.

At the time of the stabbing, Dr. Robert Sackstein, a physician at Harvard Medical School, had just dropped off his two twins, who are both freshman at the high school. Sackstein didn't know someone had been stabbed at the time and was frustrated because he said he could have offered some medical assistance.

Several hours later he got a frantic phone call from his wife and rushed back to the school to get his children.

"The fact that it happened in Sudbury Massachusetts means that it can happen anywhere," Sackstein said.

Grief counselors will be available today and through the weekend for students at the high school, Leone said.

State Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll said in a statement that "a tragedy of this magnitude defies explanation."

"It is critical that we do more to protect our children from experiencing or witnessing violence of this magnitude in their schools and communities," said Driscoll.

He extended his condolences to the victim's family and praised local authorities, who he said were "well prepared" and acted quickly to keep other students safe.

For updates on this story, check The Boston Globe's Local News Updates section on

-- Andrew Ryan and Brian Ballou

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