I expected this verdict because the evidence of premeditation was overwhelming. For example, Chism brought a ski mask, gloves, and box cutter to school the day he assaulted her in the women’s bathroom and slashed her throat with the box cutter.
The evidence of premeditation overwhelmed the defense effort to present an insanity defense. The evidence of premeditation established that he knew what he was doing and the evidence of his effort to conceal his identity and conceal her body in the nearby woods established that he knew that he had violated the law.
The jury properly acquitted him of a second count of aggravated rape based on what he did to her in the woods because she was dead. The proper charge would have been abuse of a corpse.
Chism will return to court on December 22nd to schedule a sentencing date.
Meanwhile, Chism faces a second trial in nearby Suffolk County where he is accused of attacking a female Department of Youth Services worker in June 2014. That case is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.
The Colleen Ritzer rape murder is an extremely disturbing case and Philip Chism is an extremely disturbed young man.