Parents Hosting a Drunken House Party Blamed for Fatal Stabbing of High School Student

( — According to a Fox News November 17 report, two families are suing a Connecticut couple who supplied alcohol to minors before the stabbing and homicide of a high school student in May 2022. Shelton police arrested Susanna Leifer and Paul Leifer in March and charged them with allowing minors to possess alcohol.

The 51-year-old woman was additionally charged with second-degree reckless endangerment following the stabbing and death of 17-year-old James McGrath at a different house after the party at Leifer’s home on Lazy Brook. McGrath was a student at Fairfield College Preparatory School.

The two different lawsuits were filed by Jeffrey Heinz and Thomas Connery, respectively, who are the fathers of two teenagers who were stabbed that same evening. The complaints allege that a fight broke out after the party at the couple’s home and involved several minors who were illegally consuming alcohol. The lawsuits also mentioned that the Connecticut couple “knew or should have known” that alcohol makes minors and adults become aggressive and “violent.”

According to a police report, some students from St. Joseph High School in Trumbull arrived at another party on Laurel Glenn Drive after the fight at the couple’s house and started a brawl where four students were stabbed. One of these was McGrath, who died of his injuries.

Sixteen-year-old Raul Valle of Milford was charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of murder for allegedly stabbing McGrath and other students. The lawsuits alleged that after the fight at Leifer’s house, the couple allowed the party attendees to leave their home instead of breaking up the fight, calling authorities, or taking “appropriate actions.”

The police report pointed out that McGrath was stabbed on the left side of his chest and noted that the wound went through his “rib and heart.” A doctor from the Chief Medical Examiner of Connecticut’s Office told police authorities that the victim had nearly 2 liters of blood in his lungs.

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