Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Teacher

Philip Chism accused of murdering Colleen Ritzer in Massachusetts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 4, 2013 2:08 PM CST
Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Teacher
Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer.   (Uncredited)

A 14-year-old boy pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated rape, and armed robbery charges today in the killing of his high school math teacher. Philip Chism is accused in the Oct. 22 death of Colleen Ritzer, a popular teacher at Danvers (Mass.) 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 today to a prosecution request that he remain held without bail.

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. Chism had recently moved to Massachusetts from Clarksville, Tenn. 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 him pulling a recycling barrel through the school and outside. (Read more Philip Chism stories.)

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