Philip Chism

In 2013, 24-year-old teacher Colleen Ritzer was found in woods, partly covered by leaves. She had been raped and her throat had been slit with a box cutter. Near her body was a note reading, 'I hate you all'. Philip Chism, then 14, was charged with her killing and was found guilty at trial with her rape, robbery and murder. This hearing is a status hearing to discuss sentencing in that case. While adults convicted of first-degree murder in Massachusetts automatically receive life without parole, Philip Chism, now 16, faces life in prison on the first-degree murder charge. As a juvenile, he cannot receive a life sentence without parole following decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Chism also faces additional charges including attempted murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon stemming from an attack on a state Department of Youth Services worker while he was awaiting the trial for killing Colleen Ritzer. Chism had been in a youth detention facility in Boston in June 2014 when prosecutors said he followed a worker into a locker room and choked and beat her before other workers intervened. The worker suffered injuries to her face, jaw, neck and back.