TORONTO — A Montreal teenager pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of his 14-year-old sister.
Maor Attar, 18, a graduate of Montreal’s Hebrew Academy, an Orthodox day school, entered the plea Tuesday from the hospital in the death of his sister, Shirel.
Attar had been taken to the hospital the previous night after he was found wandering a block from his home. The mother of the teens had discovered Shirel’s body in a bathtub hours earlier.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the girl had been beaten and stabbed several times. Police said they had information that led them to believe Attar, who was not home when his mother discovered Shirel’s body, might be suicidal.
Attar’s problem with his sister is “believed to have been chronic,” according to a police source quoted by the Gazette. The teens’ parents are separated; his father is believed to live in New York.
A judge ordered Attar to remain in custody, either at the hospital or a detention center after he is discharged. The case is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 8.
A friend told the Gazette that Attar had just returned from Israel.
Michael Peres, a neighbor of the Attars in the predominantly Jewish Montreal suburb of Cote St. Luc, told CBC News that the victim “would talk about the brother sometimes. She said he’s a very, very quiet person, very nice person.”
Shirel had attended the JPPS-Bialik Jewish school in Montreal until the 2008-09 school year, when she was a seventh-grader. Although classes there do not resume until Aug. 27, school officials met Monday to plan on making counselors available for grieving students who knew the girl.