14-year-old Philip Chism is charged as an adult in the murder of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer during his arraignment in Salem District Court. Credit: Nicolous Czarnecki/Metro
The mother of Philip Chism, the 14-year-old Danvers High School student who has been charged in the brutal murder of his math teacher Colleen Ritzer, has released a statement through her attorney.
"On October 22, 2013, two families were unexpectedly and inconceivably changed forever. Ms. Chism’s heart is broken for the Ritzer family and the loss of their daughter and sister Colleen Ritzer," the statement reads.
"Ms. Chism would like you to know that her son was born in love and is dear to her, very dear. She is struggling to understand this and respectfully asks for some time to process this. She asks that you know that she cares for the world’s hurt over this and greatly hopes for your prayers for the Ritzer family, the Danvers community, for her son, and all those affected by this tragedy."
Chism had recently moved to Danvers from Tennessee, and was recognized as an outstanding player on the school's junior varsity soccer team. He is accused of murdering Ritzer in the school bathroom, and dumping her body in the wooded area behind the school.