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Teen accused of slaying principal faces adult murder charges

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - A Tennessee grand jury will consider first-degree murder charges against a 17-year-old Memphis boy who told police he killed his principal because he did not like her, lawyers said Thursday.

If he is indicted, something that defense attorney Autumn Chastain said is pretty much "a foregone conclusion," he will be tried as an adult in criminal court.

After police found the body of Suzette York, 49, August 10 in a classroom of Memphis Junior Academy, they arrested Eduardo Marmolejo, who told them he had planned the murder.

Investigators said that the boy -- the only 11th-grader at the 64-student Seventh-day Adventist-affiliated school -- spent months planning the slaying of York, who was also his teacher.

York suffered multiple stab wounds in the throat, face and neck areas, according to police.

In a hearing Wednesday, Marmolejo was ruled competent and Special Juvenile Court Judge Herb Lane ruled that he should face charges as an adult.

He is being held without bond, according to Vince Higgins, spokesman for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office. Higgins said he expects the grand jury will hear the case soon.

Chastain said she was "extremely disappointed" at the ruling that Marmolejo was competent to stand trial.

(Writing and reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

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