Teen Charged With Killing Danvers Teacher Challenges Law
SALEM (AP) — A Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his high school math teacher is challenging the constitutionality of a state law that requires him to be tried as an adult.
Philip Chism is charged with raping and killing 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in October. He was 14 at the time.
In a motion filed Monday, defense lawyer Denise Regan argues that the state’s “youthful offender” law is unconstitutional. The law requires that those 14 and over who are charged with murder must be tried as adults.
Regan asks the court to send the case against Chism, who is now 15, to Juvenile Court.
The defense cites rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the state Supreme Judicial Court that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.