Teen accused of killing Fairfield Prep student has brief court hearing; attorney gets more time to review evidence
A Milford teen charged in the deadly stabbing of Fairfield Prep student Jimmy McGrath was back in court Monday where his attorney asked for more time to review the state's evidence against him.
Raul “Lito” Valle, 17, had a brief pre-trial hearing at the Milford courthouse. Attorney Kevin Smith asked for a continuance, telling the judge the defense received a very large amount of digital discovery—more than one terabyte—and is expecting more soon. Smith said he wants to go through all of it before deciding whether to request a probable cause hearing, which is where a judge would determine if there was a valid basis for the arrest. Judge Peter Brown agreed and continued the case until Nov. 1.
Smith told News 12 his team has reviewed 80-85% of the discovery they’ve received from the state.
“I expect we'll have everything that they have thus far, likely by the end of this week if not the beginning of next week,” Smith said. “That, however, doesn't mean that there still isn't other discovery to come that's pending test results or things of that nature.”
Valle was arrested in May after McGrath, 17, was killed and three other teens stabbed during a fight at a house party in Shelton. Valle was a student at St. Joseph High School, 16 at the time, but charged as an adult with murder and three counts of assault. According to his arrest warrant, the fight was the escalation of an earlier one at a different party in Shelton between a group of St. Joseph students and a group of Shelton High students. Police said multiple people identified Valle as the suspect. He’s not yet entered a plea in the case.
Valle has been under house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor while out on $2 million bond. At a hearing in July, the judge okayed Valle spending time in his home’s yard. He also said Valle was not to have access to the internet and must turn over his cellphone to his parents. In court Monday, Brown said Valle has been in full compliance of the terms of his release.
That previous court appearance almost ended with a fight. Tempers flared between McGrath’s friends and Valle as he left the courthouse. As a result, Valle waited in a room upstairs before he was called before the judge.
“The marshals today decided, you know, it's best to try and keep anything from occurring so they gave, I believe, the family members of the victim had a separate room and my client, and his family had a separate room,” explained Smith. “And thankfully there were no incidents today.”
Several of McGrath’s family members were at court. His father declined to comment on the hearing as he left but when asked how he was doing he said, “It doesn’t get easier.”