The trial for teen killer Philip Chism is expected to begin this Wednesday. After two years on hold, Chism will now be tried as an adult for the murder of his algebra teacher, 24-year old Lauren Ritzer, who he raped and then murdered with a box cutter two years ago. Chism was only 14 when he met with his teacher after school on October 22, 2013. He has been asked to see her after class for “drawing” rather than pay attention in class.
While he wouldn’t disclose what triggered the violent crime, Chism admitted to police that Ritzer insulted him, when in turn he became the teacher in an effort to teach her a lesson. Chism raped Ritzer in the school bathroom and then slit her throat with a box cutter. In the gruesome retelling of the events, Chism explained he put her body in a recycling bin and rolled her into the woods near the school. He then dumped her body, but not before placing a branch in a sexual compromising position.
The defense plans to use a “mental disability” plea as part of their proceedings, claiming Chism had become mentally unstable after his parent’s divorce, resulting in the attack. However, in Massachusetts, the mental defense rarely works. Although, some law experts believe his youth may play a huge role in how the case plans out.
“I would really think that youth is going to be a huge factor,’ said Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University. “Part of the argument would be that Chism couldn’t control whatever disease or defect he had.”
Chism currently faces rape, murder and theft charges.