Prosecution adds new aggravated rape charge in Philip Chism case

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good morning:

Time to update readers on the Philip Chism case in Massachusetts. He is the 14-year-old boy charged with raping, robbing and killing his 8th grade math teacher, Colleen Ritzer.

First, a word of caution. The article discusses graphic and potentially disturbing acts.

A new charge of aggravated rape was added last month, so he now faces two rape charges.

The first charge was based on a stick or tree limb that police found inserted into her vagina when they found her body in the woods next to the school.

I suspect the second charge is based on an STR/DNA test result that detected the presence of spermatozoa that yielded a complete profile matching his known profile. Such a result would warrant two separate rape charges and the delay in charging the second count may have been due to a delay in processing the evidence at the crime lab.

To review the STR/DNA testing procedure, read my recent article about the Craig Michael Wood case, How DNA testing will be used in the case against Craig Michael Wood.

I have been somewhat perplexed by the original rape charge involving the tree limb because I have been assuming it was was inserted in the woods post mortem (i.e., after she died). If that were so, the appropriate charge would be abuse of a corpse.

I have to assume, however, that the prosecution knows the difference between the two charges, so I think they believe they can prove that he inserted the limb, which I also have read described as a stick, in the bathroom before he slashed her throat.

This new rape charge probably preceded that act and may not have involved penetration of her vagina.

The defense is attempting to sever the new rape charge to keep it in juvenile court. Unless he pleads guilty, he will be tried in adult court on the original three charges.

I do not believe his lawyers will succeed in preventing the juvenile court from declining jurisdiction and transferring the new rape charge to adult court.

The Daily Mail, which tends to highlight the lurid aspect of violent crimes, is reporting that investigators in Clarksville, TN, where Chism lived with his mother before they moved to Massachusetts last fall, are investigating a rumor that he tortured cats and set them on fire.

Since motive is not an element of the charges against him, the prosecution could not introduce that evidence at trial, assuming it exists.

It might, however, be admissible at a sentencing hearing.

Finally, the Boston Herald is reporting today that Cellebrite has completed its effort to recover video and photographs stored on Chism’s smashed cell phone that police recovered in the woods near Ritzer’s body.

The Boston Herald states,

What if any disturbing evidence investigators recovered from accused teen killer Philip Chism’s smashed Samsung smartphone to bolster their charges he raped and murdered Danvers High math teacher Colleen Ritzer — and possibly memorialized the horror in pictures — may not be disclosed until the case goes to trial.

The results of that testing have been filed under seal.

I doubt they would have filed the results under seal, if Cellebrite did not find anything.

15 Responses to Prosecution adds new aggravated rape charge in Philip Chism case

  1. JJ says:

    Kerry Kennedy was on the Today show this morning. She expressed concern that many people many not be able to afford adequate representation, so they plead out and admit guilt to something they didn’t do. So America has the best justice that money can buy.

  2. lady2soothe says:

    OT

    Former Inmates School Congress On Solitary Confinement: ‘We’re Torturing People And Calling It Justice’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/solitary-confinement-congress_n_4869711.html

  3. dianetrotter says:

    This is so upsetting that I don’t know how to comment. There have to be signs of trouble early on. Loved ones reason away what they see. Who would ever dream that their child would do this?

  4. roderick2012 says:

    I have a feeling that Philip will end up committing suicide sooner rather than later.

    Sad all around.

  5. colin black says:

    It astonishes me as well. So hard to imagine a kid being so messed up to do such things.

    Reply

    colin black says:

    February 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Coulumbine or The I don’t like Mondays shooters shows kids can be every bit as depraved as adults.

    And just as dangerous with a weapon Sandyhook was just a few mnths ago.

    Even further back there was Charles Starkeather and Carol Ann Fugute..

    If anything Im astonished there are not even more mass spree shootings commited by Kids In America given the easy acssess some seam to have to arsenals of ammo an weapons.

    Remember Children have less impulse control the most adults, And with access to violent video games an /porn we never even envisaged in our youth,

    The words been an gone to hell in a hand basket on the bicycle of some evil witch spinning out in a tornado .

    @
    Warehouse him Is exactly what will become of this disturbed an obviously prone to depravity individual.He will join the 12 thousand other children America has decided to Warehouse .

    And when one commits a heinous act no matter the age or mitigation .

    A vicous act against an abuser then mitigation can ocour an even be relevant.

    But not in cases like this sorry you lose the right to live in the alleged free society ..

    At the moment he Is prolly all Johny Darko and angst an thinks his life a bore an ending bs chore.

    An rather than rationalise he Is a sentient handy capable.. human.being with every frigging thing going for him ,If his life was frigging unbearable .

    Why not just get his ass up an out of there jump a bus.Lie about your age buy a bivvie bag sleeping bag travel.
    Go south follow the Mexicans an pick up season work .Fuck give blow jobs at a bus stop I don’t know but thers an unnending choise of life open to him

    Youth Is wasted on pricks like him unable to see past or escape the morrassse of his life now an step into the future

    I know what Its like to have a terrible abusive upbringing better than most,
    An I know the insentive an desire .one can use the negative to a positive,.

    Because when your living in a dysfunctional world of hurt.

    The relief an joy you receive from escapeing that environment is invigorating an cleaseing.

    As my Better Half whom had An even worse time of it abuse wise than mineself as a child often says.

    The worst of circumstances you endure makes you enjoy the calms between the storms.

    Mind you She also says Lifes a Bitch but so am I.

  6. Aunt Bea says:

    “I doubt they would have filed the results under seal, if Cellebrite did not find anything.”

    For Pete’s sake, Professor, have we forgotten the video of “no one else entered the gym” in the Kendrick case? Tricks of the trade.
    Have the videos of the hallway into the bathroom been released?

    I haven’t really been following this case at all.
    None of this matters if they are using a diminished capacity defense, anyway.

    I am always pro-defense. Even with “confessions”. It is a sickness I have, I guess.

    The law shouldn’t be so complex, it makes justice too fragile.

  7. Malisha says:

    In 2001 his mother filed for divorce alleging abuse. She’s Brazilian. Father’s military. They didn’t divorce; I guess the thing was abandfoned. I saw a picture (briefly) of her being led into the court-room, in a state of near collapse. The parents are not together now; the mother and children (there’s a sibling) in Mass. and the father reportedly in FL. They removed to Mass. (and possibly to FL) from Tennessee. Suggestions of negative things, suggestions of a history on Philip’s part of torturing and killing animals (common in both abused children and in child bullies). Strangely, Philip’s mother looks very young (I believe she’s 34) and seems (photographs are not very good) to resemble the victim somewhat. I don’t know. Horrible Horrible Horrible. That much I do know.

  8. racerrodig says:

    I don’t even know what to say on this one anymore. Did Chism think he wouldn’t ever get caught ?

    “…warehoused…” I’ll go for that.

  9. How does one sentence a 14 year old for something as incomprehensible as this? He’ll just have to be warehoused I imagine.

  10. concernedczen says:

    It astonishes me as well. So hard to imagine a kid being so messed up to do such things.

    • colin black says:

      Coulumbine or The I don’t like Mondays shooters shows kids can be every bit as depraved as adults.

      And just as dangerous with a weapon Sandyhook was just a few mnths ago.

      Even further back there was Charles Starkeather and Carol Ann Fugute..

      If anything Im astonished there are not even more mass spree shootings commited by Kids In America given the easy acssess some seam to have to arsenals of ammo an weapons.

      Remember Children have less impulse control the most adults, And with access to violent video games an /porn we never even envisaged in our youth,

      The words been an gone to hell in a hand basket on the bicycle of some evil witch spinning out in a tornado .

  11. Malisha says:

    That case and that crime still astonish me; I who thought I would never be astonished by anything ever again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: