The father of the teenager charged with the murder of Connecticut high school lacrosse player James McGrath’s apologized to the 17-year-old’s family.
Court documents identified 16-year-old Raul Eliah Valle, from Milford, as the teenager charged with the Saturday stabbing death of 17-year-old James McGrath during a fight outside a Shelton house party.
Valle was taken into custody early Wednesday – four days after the alcohol-fueled assault that left Fairfield Prep student McGrath dead and three others injured.
The 16-year-old was charged with murder and three counts of first-degree assault and is being held on $2million bond, police said.
Valle’s father Raul was seen outside a Derby courtroom on Thursday with his head tucked underneath a black suit jacket, quietly saying: ‘I’m sorry to the family,’ courtant.com reported.
Valle’s defense attorney Jake Donovan (pictured) told reporters he would not speak on the case during the investigation
McGrath, who had been a standout lacrosse player for private school Fairfield Prep, was found stabbed outside the Shelton home late Sunday, where cops say a party had been in full swing
James McGrath (pictured), who had been stabbed once in the chest, was taken to a local hospital where he later died
Valle’s defense attorney Jake Donovan told reporters he would not speak on the case during the investigation.
‘Obviously, this is an unspeakable tragedy for everyone involved, and it would be irresponsible for me to make any comment before I have the chance to examine all of the evidence in the case,’ Donovan said outside the courtroom. ‘I appreciate your interest and your concern, but again, I need to see the entire file.’
Valle’s case has been transferred to Milford court where he will be tried as an adult and the next scheduled hearing has been set for June 7.
According to an arrest warrant, Valle attended a house party on Saturday held in Shelton for students of St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, which he attended, Greenwichtime.com reported.
At some point in the night, a group of students from Shelton High School arrived and a fight broke out between groups of the opposing schools.
After the fight broke up the students from Shelton high left to go to another house party on Laurel Glen Drive, where Valle and his other friends followed.
The residence where the killing took place – which police said was not McGrath’s – is roughly six miles from the suspect’s hometown of Milford. It is unclear who owns the property
His school, Fairfield Prep – an all-male institution, which cost $23,000 a year to attend – confirmed the junior’s death in a statement
A GoFundMe was set up for the family (pictured) to help cover the cost of their son’s funeral. The fundraiser has gathered nearly $125,000, far surpassing it’s $15,000 goal
After Valle and his group were told to leave and fight broke out on the front lawn and several people were stabbed.
A witness said after the fight ended Valle got up and walked to his car and McGrath was standing nearby but not going after him, according to the warrant.
‘He stated (Valle) then turns around and takes his knife and stabs (McGrath) right in the stomach and pulls it out,’ Detective Richard Bango, quotes the witness as saying in the warrant.
McGrath, who had been stabbed once in the chest, was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
The 17-year-old, better known by his classmates as Jimmy, was a standout lacrosse star for private school Fairfield, according to his obituary, where he was beloved by all.
When reached for comment Wednesday regarding Valle’s arrest, McGrath’s father, Kevin, told The New York Post that he was too distraught to speak.
‘Just give me a little time to process everything,’ McGrath told the paper.
The school held a private vigil for the teen (pictured), where more than a 1,000 showed up
McGrath (pictured with his sister) played lacrosse and football at the prestigious private school
Fairfield Prep – a prestigious, all-male institution that costs $23,000 a year to attend – commented on the high school junior’s death in a statement released Monday, writing: ‘Jimmy was a beloved student and athlete on the football and lacrosse teams, and will forever be a member of the Prep Brotherhood.’
The school held a private vigil for the student-athlete Sunday, where more than 1,000 people gathered to honor his life. The school said it would be offering grief counseling to students.
‘In the coming days, students and faculty have the support of the school’s leadership team, Jesuit priests, campus ministers, counselors from Prep and Fairfield University to offer help while grieving this tragic loss,’ the school announced on Monday.
‘Many described Jim as a wonderfully happy person with a big heart who was a loving friend to many,’ the tribute read. ‘He loved his school, Fairfield Prep, and he excelled as an athlete in every sport he chose.’
‘May God bless Jimmy McGrath, Class of 2023, forever a man for others, forever a son of Fairfield Prep,’ president Christian Cashman said.
A neighbor, who lives across from the house, said it was ‘sad to see what’s happening to our teenagers’ and said she felt ‘scared’ to send to kids to school when they of age.
‘They are making so many wrong mistakes and decisions,’ Christina Louis-Fin, told FOX 61.
Friends and family of the McGrath’s started a GoFundMe page to help his parents Kevin and Margaret pay for their son’s funeral.
So far, the fundraiser has raised nearly $125,000, far surpassing it’s $15,000 goal.
DailyMail.com has attempted to contact the family for comment.