via Daily Mail: Phillip Chism, a Massachusetts teenager who raped and killed his math teacher in 2013, was sentenced Friday to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 25 years, a punishment the victim’s mother called “unacceptable.”
Chism was 14 when he followed the 24-year-old Ritzer into a school bathroom, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times and raped her. Her body was later found in a wooded area outside the school. Jurors rejected Chism’s defense that he was suffering from a psychotic disorder at the time of the slaying. He was convicted on December 15, 2015.
Judge David Lowy handed down the sentence after hearing victim impact statements from Ritzer’s loved ones. He called the slaying “brutal and senseless.”
“Colleen Ritzer lived a life of quiet heroism,” Lowy said. “The crashing waves of this tragedy will never wane.”
Ritzer’s parents, siblings, colleagues and lifelong friends described a young woman who loved her job, her students and life and who never had a negative word to say. Many of them wore pink, her favorite color.
Philip Chism, 16, sat quietly and emotionless while jurors watched video of him dragging the large blue recycling bin the prosecution claims contained the body of Colleen Ritzer, his math teacher at Danvers High School in Massachusetts.
He is then seen returning to school with his pants covered in a dark red substance that appears to be blood.
Fox Boston reports that jurors also saw footage of Chism walking into a nearby AMC movie theater that afternoon where a ticket for the film Gravity was purchased by someone on Ritzer’s credit card.
Chism, who was 14 at the time in October 2013, has admitted to killing his 24-year-old teacher, but is pleading not guilty on the grounds of insanity.
Jurors also heard on Monday that Ritzer’s blood was found on a box cutter which was in Chism’s backpack as well as all the clothes he was seen wearing on the surveillance footage.
Chism changed at some point during the day from jeans and a white shirt in to shorts and a black shirt, which at first confused authorities who believed that two people may have been responsible for Ritzer’s murder.
The trial started last week, and on Wednesday the court was shown the first footage of Ritzer’s final moments, sporting a smile as she waved at someone in the hallway and walked alone to the bathroom
Moments later, Chism could be seen leaving a classroom to follow her.
With the hood of the sweatshirt over his head and gloves on, the chilling footage then shows the teen enter the restroom that Ritzer is in.
A few minutes later, a female student then can be seen walking into the bathroom, but she quickly exits.
That student, Danielle Bedard, testified on Monday saying that she saw a naked brown butt and assumed someone was changing so she left the bathroom.
She said she did not suspect anything and thought nothing more about the incident until after she learned of Ritzer’s murder.
‘I opened the door. I didn’t step all the way into the girl’s room,’ said Bedard.
‘When I opened the door I could see someone’s bare behind. They were leaning towards the sinks. I couldn’t see an upper half of them.
‘They were standing, but they were, like, leaning over. I just turned around and left.’
Meanwhile, last Friday jurors were shown the stick that Chism stuck inside Ritzer’s genitals after leaving her body in the woods.
Chism’s lawyer, Denise Regan, said at the beginning of the trial that her client did everything he is accused of in her opening statement.
She is arguing however that he was experiencing a psychotic break at the time.
The jury will now get a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday and return next Monday.
The young man is also being accused of attempted murder after attacking a woman while in custody in June 2014.
Chism made sure he wasn’t being watched and took off his shoes so he could quietly follow a 29-year-old woman into the locker room at Metro Youth Services facility in Boston.
He then pushed the woman against the wall in the bathroom, choked her, and hit her in the head with his fists.
Chism also allegedly stabbed her in the back with the pencil before staff members rushed in to help get him off the woman