Tags: philip chism | convicted | rape | murder | teacher

Philip Chism Convicted: Jury Rejects Teen's Insanity Defense for Rape, Murder

Image: Philip Chism Convicted: Jury Rejects Teen's Insanity Defense for Rape, Murder
Philip Chism appears in Salem Superior Court, Monday, Dec. 14,2015, during closing arguments. (Mark Lorenz/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 01:27 PM

Philip Chism was convicted Tuesday of raping and murdering his math teacher Colleen Ritzer in a Massachusetts high school bathroom in 2013 after a jury rejected the 16-year-old's insanity defense.

An Essex Superior Court jury did not accept the defense's theory that Chism had a psychotic breakdown and experienced hallucinations on Oct. 22, 2013, when he followed 24-year-old Ritzer into a bathroom at Danvers High, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times, and raped her, The Associated Press reported. He stole her credit cards and underwear after the murder.

In fact, the jury found that the boy, who was 14 at the time, had the wherewithal to premeditate the attack, as evidenced by the ski mask, gloves, and box cutter he brought with him to school, according to The Boston Globe.

Chism, who was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated rape, and armed robbery, was acquitted of a second rape charge, which accused him of sexually assaulting Ritzer again with a tree branch in the woods where he took her body.

“There can never be true justice for the crime that was committed,” Thomas Ritzer, the victim's father, said in a statement. “Colleen never gave up, and neither will we. We will not allow Colleen’s death to define how she is remembered.”

"One of Colleen's favorite quotes was, 'There is something good in every day,'" her mother Peggie told the media after the verdict. 'To celebrate our love for her, and in recognition of the many lives she touched and continues to influence despite the immense loss we've had to endure, we will carry on and do our very best to find the good in every day."

Chism, who was tried as an adult on the murder charge and as a youthful offender on the aggravated rape and armed robbery charges, is scheduled for a status hearing on his sentencing on Dec. 22.

According to The Globe, because he is a minor, Chism will likely receive a life sentence and is ineligible for a life sentence without parole under two separate rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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Philip Chism was convicted Tuesday of raping and murdering his math teacher Colleen Ritzer in a Massachusetts high school bathroom in 2013 after a jury rejected the 16-year-old's insanity defense.
philip chism, convicted, rape, murder, teacher
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2015-27-16
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 01:27 PM
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