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Teen Philip Chism indicted in Mass. teacher rape and murder

DANVERS, Mass – An Essex County Grand Jury indicted a 14-year-old Danvers High School student Thursday in connection with the October 22 slaying of one of his teachers.

According to a press release from the Essex District Attorney’s office, Philip Chism was indicted on charges of murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer.

District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said the indictments reveal details about the teacher’s murder and are the first step to securing justice for the victim and her family.

The medical examiner’s office has ruled Ritzer’s death a homicide based on the nature of her injuries, however an official ruling is pending.

Chism will be tried as an adult on the murder charge and as a youthful offender in the aggravated rape and armed robbery charges.  

According to court documents, Chism robbed Ritzer of her cellphone, credit cards and underwear. He allegedly used a box cutter as a weapon and sexually assaulted her with an object.

According to CBS Boston, police said surveillance cameras and  interviews with Chism indicate Ritzer was murdered and her body left in the woods near the school. Investigators reportedly found blood in a second floor bathroom of the high school.

Chism is being represented by Attorney Denise Regan and remains held without bail.

A date for an arraignment in Superior Court has not been scheduled.

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