High School Student Accused of Murdering Popular Teacher Pleads Not Guilty

Philip Chism is charged with murder, rape and robbery in the death of Colleen Ritzer, his teacher at Danvers High School

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The Eagle-Tribune, Paul Bilodeau, Pool / AP

Members of Colleen Ritzer's family sit in court during the arraignment of Phillip Chism, 14, from Danvers, in Salem Superior Court, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Salem, Mass.

The 14-year-old accused of raping and murdering his high school teacher pleaded not guilty in a Massachusetts court Wednesday.

Philip D. Chism was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and as a youthful offender with armed robbery and aggravated rape in connection with the murder of popular Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer on Oct. 22.

Chism, shackled at the ankles at his arraignment Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to murder. A separate not guilty plea was entered on his behalf to the charges of rape and armed robbery. Members of Chism’s and Ritzer’s families were present at the arraignment but did not speak with reporters, the Boston Globe reports.

Ritzer’s body was found murdered in the woods near the school Oct. 23 near a note reading, “I hate you all.”

The Superior Court judge ordered Chism held without bail, and pre-trial hearings are scheduled for Jan. 30.

[Boston Globe]