Watch CBSN Live

Tenn. private school student charged with first-degree murder in principal's death

Suzette York WREG

(CBS/AP) MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A 17-year-old Tennessee student charged with murdering his principal told investigators he had planned to kill the 49-year-old administrator, police say.

Memphis police have charged Eduardo Marmolejo with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a Christian school principal Suzette York on the third day of classes.

Marmolejo, police say, stabbed York multiple times Wednesday at Memphis Junior Academy, a Seventh Day Adventist school of about 100 students.

According to police, the 17-year-old told investigators he planned to kill York because he did not like her and that she had made him angry. Police say Marmolejo told authorities he knew that he was going to be alone with York in a classroom, giving him the opportunity to kill her.

Online records do not indicate if Marmolejo has a lawyer.

Marmolejo had a court hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The killing shocked current and former students of the school, located next to a church and a cemetery in a residential section of east Memphis. They described York as a caring person who taught science and math before becoming principal in 2008.

York's body was found lying in a pool of blood by a teacher at about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. Parents were called and students were sent home after the body was discovered.

About 30 friends and current and former students attended a tear-filled prayer service for York on Wednesday at Mullins United Methodist Church, located next to the school.

More on Crimesider
August 10, 2011 - Principal at Memphis private school was fatally stabbed, student in custody, say police