The Connecticut teenager accused of fatally stabbing Fairfield Prep student James McGrath appeared in court Thursday — as his father reportedly apologized for the murder.
Raul Valle, 16, of Milford, appeared in Derby Superior Court early Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and assault in Saturday’s stabbing that left 17-year-old McGrath dead before a house party in Shelton, the Hartford Courant reported.
“I’m sorry,” Valle’s father, also known as Raul Valle, said quietly as he exited the courthouse with his head under a suit jacket, according to the report. “I’m sorry for the family.”
Thursday’s hearing was not public, but court documents in the case were unsealed after his case was referred to an adult court. His attorney, Jake Donovan, also identified him after the procedure, video shows.
“Obviously, this is an untold tragedy for all involved,” Donovan told reporters. “It would be irresponsible of me to make any comment before I have had an opportunity to review all of the evidence in the case.”
Valle, who is being held over a $2 million bond, was charged as a juvenile on Wednesday. He is next scheduled to appear in court in Milford on June 7, Donovan said.
An autopsy revealed that McGrath was stabbed once in the chest during the fight outside a Shelton home, where responding police officers found four teenagers wounded in all. According to a Courant warrant, the knife had pierced McGrath’s heart.
McGrath’s father told the Post on Wednesday that he was delighted that police officers were arrested in the fatal stabbing during a “friendly gathering” among teenagers. The three other wounded teenagers survived.
“We’re glad there was an arrest,” McGrath said. “The investigation is ongoing and Shelton Police have just been extremely supportive and helpful in getting us closer to the closure.”
Kevin McGrath said he was unable to speak Thursday while completing a photo slideshow for a walking tour that begins at 4 p.m. at the Egan Chapel of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at Fairfield University. He previously declined to discuss details of what led to his son’s death.
McGrath, a “positive and loving” junior better known as Jimmy, played lacrosse and football at Fairfield College Preparatory School, according to his obituary. An online fundraiser set up in his memory had eclipsed $122,000 as of Thursday.
A funeral for McGrath will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull, followed by a private burial.
McGrath was also honored by his former teammates during a touching tribute at an away game against Shelton High School on Wednesday. The teenager’s family, friends and classmates wore his favorite color, baby blue, and wore t-shirts with his number 7 on it.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/19/suspect-idd-in-slaying-of-fairfield-preps-james-mcgrath/ Suspect identified in the murder of Fairfield Prep’s James McGrath