Mass. teen Philip Chism convicted in rape, murder of high school teacher

Mass. teen Philip Chism convicted in rape, murder of high school teacher
Colleen Ritzer and Philip Chism

A Massachusetts teenager was convicted Tuesday of raping and killing his high school math teacher when he was 14.

Philip Chism followed his 9th grade algebra teacher, Colleen Ritzer, into a school bathroom, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times and raped her.

Chism, now 16, was convicted of a raping Ritzer inside the bathroom but was acquitted of a second rape, committed with a tree branch in woods near the school where Chism put her body. He was also convicted of armed robbery for stealing Ritzer’s credit cards and her underwear.

Chism stared straight ahead and did not have any visible reaction as the verdicts were read in Salem Superior Court. His mother declined to talk to reporters as she left the courthouse.

Standing later with the district attorney that prosecuted the case, Ritzer’s parents said the verdicts mark a new phase in their lives in which they hope to honor their 24-year-old daughter’s legacy.

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