NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

June 10, 2014

Chism held at unknown location after assault

By Jill Harmacinski
Staff writer

---- — A week after he allegedly attacked a worker in a Department of Youth Services facility, accused murderer Philip Chism is now being held in an undisclosed “secure location” in Massachusetts, according to the county sheriff.

Chism, 15, is accused of robbing, raping and killing his Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, who was from Andover.

On Monday, June 2, Chism allegedly attacked a female worker at a DYS facility in Dorchester where he was being held without bail. Chism is being tried as an adult for Ritzer’s murder.

After the incident, Chism was taken to Boston Medical Center. While under heavy guard by Essex County correctional officers, Chism underwent a mental evaluation and was released Thursday, said Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins.

When he was released, Chism was “moved to another facility ... a secure location,” Cousins said.

Cousins said he could not identify what facility Chism was taken to due to juvenile laws. However, Cousins did say Chism could not return to the DYS Metropolitan Detention Center in Dorchester where the alleged attack occurred.

The new facility is for accused juvenile offenders, he said.

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

Cousins said during the past week Chism’s mother did call him to inquire about her son. He declined to elaborate on the conversation they shared, however.

Last 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 incident remains under investigation by state troopers assigned to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley’s office. To date, no charges have been filed against Chism, according to Jake Wark, Conley’s spokesman.

Denise Regan, Chism’s defense attorney, has not returned phone calls seeking comment on the incident.

Following the incident, a state spokesman said DYS is working closely with law enforcement as well as conducting a safety and security review of the incident.

Chism is charged with attacking, robbing and raping Ritzer in a second-floor bathroom at Danvers High on the afternoon of Oct. 22, 2013, then wheeling her body in a recycling bin to a nearby wooded area, where he raped her and left her partly naked under a pile of debris and leaves, according to court papers.

Police found a note next to her body that read, “I hate you all.”

He is charged with first degree murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery.

Chism’s attorney plan to file a motion to suppress evidence in the case. A Superior Court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15.