Lawyer: Teen’s constitutional rights violated if tried as adult for teacher’s murder

Former Clarksville teen in court Tuesday in teacher murder case (Image 1)
Former Clarksville teen in court Tuesday in teacher murder case (Image 1)

Lawyers for the former Clarksville teen who is accused of raping and murdering his Massachusetts math teacher say the boy’s constitutional rights will be violated if he’s tried as an adult.

Philip Chism had recently moved to Massachusetts last fall when he allegedly raped and killed teacher Coleen Ritzer at Danvers High School.

The 24-year-old woman’s body was discovered in a wooded area behind the school. Chism was taken into custody a short time later for her death.

Under current law, offenders ages 14 and over who are charged with murder are to be tried as adults.

The Boston Globe reports Chism’s lawyers however, are “arguing the state’s youthful offender law is unconstitutional.”

Chism has pled not guilty to all charges against him, including first-degree murder and aggravated rape.

Just last month, Chism reportedly attacked a detention worker.

He is being held without bond.

*The Boston Globe contributed to this report.

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