14-year-old pleads not guilty to robbing, raping, killing teacher
Phillip Chism, 14, from Danvers, is led into the court room at his arraignment in Salem Superior Court, Wednesday. Chism is charged in the Oct. 22 killing of a popular Danvers High School Math teacher Colleen Ritzer. He pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery charges Wednesday. He will remain held without bail. AP photo
SALEM — The 14-year-old Massachussetts student accused of robbing, raping and killing his math teacher in October pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Wednesday and was ordered held without bail.
Philip D. Chism is being tried as an adult for first-degree murder in the slaying of Colleen Ritzer, 24, a teacher at Danvers High School. He has also been charged with aggravated rape and armed robbery as a youthful offender.
The Los Angeles Times does not normally identify minors accused of crimes unless they are charged as adults, as Chism is.
Ritzer’s body was discovered in the woods near the school early Oct. 23, after she-and Chism-had been missing for several hours.
Police first discovered blood in a school bathroom before finding Ritzer’s remains. They later found Chism walking along a busy road. Police said he had a knife, credit cards, two driver’s licenses and a pair of women’s underwear.
Investigators said Chism planned the attack, following Ritzer to the bathroom after school and wearing a hood and gloves. Police say he left a note next to her body that said, “I hate you all.”
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30 in Salem.