SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy accused of killing his high school math teacher pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery charges on Wednesday.
Philip Chism is charged in the Oct. 22 death of Colleen Ritzer, a popular teacher at Danvers High School. Ritzer’s body was found in woods near the school with her throat slit and a note reading, “I hate you all.”
Chism had already pleaded not guilty in District Court, but the case was moved to Superior Court after he was indicted last month. His attorney agreed on Wednesday to a prosecution request that he remain held without bail. The hearing lasted for about 15 minutes.
Ritzer’s family and friends filled two rows of the courtroom. Chism’s mother, Diana Chism, sobbed quietly when he was taken into court. The families left without talking to reporters.
Philip Chism had recently moved to Massachusetts from Clarksville, Tenn.
Police haven’t released a motive for Ritzer’s killing. Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said Wednesday nothing during the investigation has pointed to mental health issues. Chism’s lawyer, Denise Regan, said she would raise the issue of mental competency “if and when” she feels it’s appropriate.
Students told police that Chism stayed after school the day the 24-year-old Ritzer was killed. One student who said she had also stayed after school to receive extra help that day said Chism appeared to become upset when Ritzer began talking about Tennessee.
Search warrant documents made public last month described surveillance video that authorities said showed Chism following Ritzer into a school bathroom, wearing gloves and a hood, then later walking out of the bathroom alone.
A short time later, the video shows Chism pulling a recycling barrel through the school and outside, according to the documents. A recycling barrel was found near Ritzer’s body. Authorities said she was sexually assaulted with a stick.
Chism is charged with murder as an adult. He is charged as a youthful offender on aggravated rape and armed robbery charges, which are pending in juvenile court.
For Wednesday’s arraignment, Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead was sworn as a special Juvenile Court judge to hear all the charges together.
MacDougall said prosecutors will ask that Chism be tried on all the charges in Superior Court, arguing that the robbery and rape he is accused of were “part and parcel” of the murder. Regan indicated she may oppose that.
The judge said he may send the complicated legal question to the state Appeals Court. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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