Trial Resumes for Teen Accused of Killing Teacher - NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Trial Resumes for Teen Accused of Killing Teacher

Philip Chism, 16, is accused of raping and killing his 24-year-old teacher in 2013.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Surveillance Video Shown as Chism Trial Resumes

    A judge decided Wednesday that the Danvers, Massachusetts, teen charged with raping and killing his teacher is mentally competent to stand trial. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015)

    A judge decided Wednesday that the Danvers, Massachusetts, teen charged with raping and killing his teacher is mentally competent to stand trial. 

    The trial of Philip Chism resumed Wednesday morning after being dismissed Tuesday when Chism, 16, refused to return to court after recess, telling his lawyer he was "about to explode," the defense attorney said.

    The judge gave Chism the option to review proceedings outside the courtroom, but the teen ultimately changed his mind, saying he wanted to be present.

    Chism, who had moved to Massachusetts from Clarksville, Tennessee, shortly before starting high school, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the October 2013 slaying of 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer.

    In court Wednesday, jurors were shown school surveillance video of Ritzer before she was found dead. The acting police chief in Danvers was among the first to see the footage.

    Prosecutors said Chism followed Ritzer into the bathroom before allegedly slitting her throat, raping and stabbing her to death. The jury also saw articles of clothing found in the woods behind the high school, along with evidence including a large recycling bin that Chism allegedly used to move Ritzer's body into the woods.

    Chism was 14 at the time but is being tried as an adult. His attorney has said Chism killed Ritzer but isn't criminally responsible because he is mentally ill.