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Judge: Adult trial for teenager charged with killing teacher

A Massachusetts teen charged with raping and killing a teacher also faces juvenile charges of assaulting a counselor after his arrest.
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 12, 2014 at 6:26 PM   |   Comments

SALEM, Mass., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old charged in Massachusetts with raping and killing his math teacher should be tried as an adult, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Philip Chism was 14 at the time of his arrest. His lawyer challenged the Massachusetts law allowing children as young as 14 to be charged as adults, arguing it is unconstitutional.

"Children are different," she said.

Judge Howard Whitehead said he had no grounds to rule in favor of Chism. He said Denise Regan, Chism's attorney, could appeal to the state or U.S. courts or urge the legislature to change the law.

Chism allegedly raped and killed Colleen Ritzer, 24, in a bathroom at Danvers High School and dumped her body in woods near the school. He was arrested a few hours later.

He faces juvenile charges in Boston of attacking a woman counselor while he was being held at detention facility there.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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