The case that shocked most of the nation back in 2013 finally came to a bittersweet close on Friday, when a teenager who raped and murdered his high school math teacher was sentenced to life in prison.
Philip Chism, who was only 14 at the time of the murder, killed his math teacher Colleen Ritzer one afternoon back in 2013 after she embarrassed him during class. He then placed her body in a trash can and dumped it in the woods behind the school. Superior Court Judge David Lowy called the murder “brutal and senseless” when he delivered his sentencing of life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years.
Chism’s mother sat nearby sobbing quietly throughout the hearing. However, the mother of Colleen felt the sentence was too soft and that he shouldn’t be eligible for parole at all. However, the defense argued that Chism was mentally unwell during the slaying of Ritzer, although the jury rejected the claim.
Ritzer’s parents, friends and colleagues wore pink in honor the slain teacher, who was described as “sweet and loving with never a negative word to say.”
“Now I isolate myself from people I love because pretending being to be happy is so difficult,” Ritzer’s mother said to reporters. “He is pure evil, and evil can never be rehabilitated.”
In response, Diane Chism, Philip’s mother released the following statement:
“Words can’t express the amount of pain and sorrow these past 2 1/2 years have been. However, there is no one who has suffered more than the Ritzer family. My utmost esteem, prayers and humble respect is with them today as they continue their journey to heal.”