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

Philip Chism, 14, appears in Salem District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/ Metro
Philip Chism, 14, appears in Salem District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/ Metro

The Danvers High School student who allegedly killed his teacher was indicted on Thursday for murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery.

An Essex County grand jury indicted Philip Chism, 14, of Danvers, according to the Essex district attorney’s office. Chism allegedly killed math teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, of Andover last month and dumped her body in the woods near Danvers High School.

Chism will be tried as an adult because of the murder indictment. He was also indicted for aggravated rape because he allegedly “sexually assaulted the victim with an object,” the district attorney’s office said.

He was indicted for armed robbery because prosecutors allege that Chism armed himself with a box cutter robbed Ritzer of her credit cards, iPhone and her underwear.

“The indictments returned today detail horrific and unspeakable acts,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.  ”Since the moment Ms. Ritzer’s body was discovered, a dedicated and professional team of state police detectives assigned to my office, Danvers Police officers, crime scene forensic experts and assistant district attorneys have worked tirelessly to compile and present the evidence to the Grand Jury.  This is the first step in a long process to secure justice for Ms. Ritzer and her family.”

While news outlets have reported through sources that Chism stabbed Ritzer, authorities said on Thursday that a ruling on the exact cause of death following an autopsy is pending.

An arraignment date in Essex Superior Court has not yet been set.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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