BOSTON (CBS) – Philip Chism was convicted of crimes more serious than most adult inmates, but since he’s only 16, he can’t go to a maximum security prison like other murderers.
“It’s a constant watch on someone like that,” said Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins. “He’s a very dangerous person.”
Chism remains a county inmate until his January sentencing, at which point he will be turned over to the state. But he will stay at the same secure juvenile detention center in Worcester where he’s been throughout the trial, until he’s 18. Then he’ll move to a state prison.
Chism’s attorneys were back in court Wednesday, one day after a jury convicted him of raping and murdering his Danvers High math teacher Colleen Ritzer. This time, they were in a Boston courtroom dealing with an accusation that he similarly attacked a female staffer at a less secure facility a year after Ritzer’s murder. It looks like a frightening pattern.
“You’re not going to have him in the general population,” says Cousins. The sheriff says Chism eats meals in isolation, and has limited visitors. Since he regularly refuses visits from his own mother, he only meets with his attorneys under heavy supervision. He has to wear leg irons, shackles, or cuffs when he goes for walks in the yard outside.
One day after the verdict, the jury foreman told WBZ he hopes the Ritzer family “can find some peace.”