EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 5, 2014

Chism going to another lockup

Accused teacher killer allegedly choked female DYS worker

Philip Chism, the juvenile accused of killing his math teacher, will not return to the Boston-area Department of Youth Services facility where he assaulted a worker on Monday, Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins said yesterday.

Chism, 15, was taken to Boston Medical Center for a mental evaluation after the assault on the female worker. He remained under heavy guard at the hospital yesterday, Cousins said.

Cousins said it has not yet been determined where Chism will be held upon his hospital release. However, Cousins said it will not be at the Department of Youth Services Metropolitan Detention Center in Dorchester where the female worker was attacked.

Held without bail, Chism was charged last fall with robbing, raping and killing Colleen Ritzer, 24, a Danvers High School teacher from Andover, and then leaving her body in a wooded area next to the school.

On Monday, Chism allegedly followed the DYS worker into a locker room carrying an object that appeared to be a pencil. He allegedly started choking the woman, causing her to scream. He allegedly began punching the woman and other staff members came to her aid and pulled him off of her.

The unidentified worker did not suffer serious injuries although she was shaken by the incident.

Cousins said there are other juvenile lockup facilities in the state in which Chism can be incarcerated. A suitable facility for Chism and similar alleged youthful offenders is not available in Essex County at this time but eyed for the future at a location on the Danvers-Middleton line, he said.

“But clearly, he won’t be going back to where he was,” Cousins said.

Chism is being tried as an adult for Ritzer’s murder when he was 14. However, due to his age, the law requires him to be incarcerated at a youth facility, Cousins said.

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