Philip Chism arraigned for murder, rape of Danvers teacher Colleen Ritzer

Philip Chism, 14, will be arraigned on charges of the rape, murder, and robbery of Colleez Ritzer Wednesday. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/ Metro
Philip Chism, 14, in court shortly after his arrest for the murder of Colleen Ritzer. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/ Metro

As two devastated families looked on, 14-year-old Philip Chism pleaded not guilty to murdering, raping and robbing his teacher at Danvers High School.

Chism was indicted on those charges by a grand jury last month and was arraigned in Essex Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.

Chism’s family, as well as the parents, aunts, uncles and other relatives of 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer, were present for the arraignment. Chism’s mother cried as her son was brought into court.

Ritzer’s family didn’t speak to reporters, but a family friend spoke on their behalf.

“It was a difficult day for them,” said Dan Murphy, who said he’s known the Ritzer family for more than 20 years.

Ritzer’s family released a statement after the hearing.

“As a family, we remain devastated by the passing of our daughter and sister, Colleen,” the statement said. “We are however strengthened by the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received from so many throughout the local community and beyond. We are especially touched by the number of tributes to Colleen throughout Andover and Danvers.”

Chism, dressed in a tie, sweater and khakis, looked down during much of the hearing and only said “not guilty” when asked for a plea.

While Chism is being charged as an adult for the murder, the indictment of the aggravated rape and armed robbery counts charge him as a youthful offender. Prosecutors plan to seek to join all of the charges into one case, but Chism’s lawyer indicated she wants those charges brought against him as a youthful offender.

“He is entitled to all of the rights and benefits that go to a juvenile who is indicted as a youthful offender,” said Attorney Denise Regan.

A judge ordered Chism held without bail and Regan did not object.

The case is due back in court next month.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio's New…

It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers…

National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

Music

polyphonic

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…