MA Juvenile Charged with Murder, Aggravated Rape, and Armed Robbery in Slaying of Teacher

by on February 6, 2014

A 14-year-old boy has been indicted on charges of aggravated rape, armed robbery, and murder in connection to the gruesome death of a beloved 24-year-old teacher at Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts.

On the evening of October 22, Philip Chism’s mother reported her son missing around 6:30pm after he failed to show up at soccer practice, didn’t return home, and wasn’t answering his cell phone. Hours later, at approximately 11:20pm, the family of the victim reported her missing, initiating a potential connection between the two. At 12:30am, the boy was found walking along a busy road in town just north of Danvers.

Video Surveillance

Video footage taken from the school reportedly shows the teacher entering a second-floor women’s restroom around 3pm on October 22. Approximately one minute later, Chism can be seen entering the bathroom wearing gloves and a red sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head.

Soon after, a female student is seen entering the restroom but quickly leaves. After an interview, the girl stated that she saw the back of a person who looked to be changing clothes, with their rear exposed and a pile of clothing resting on the floor.

Chism is seen leaving the bathroom and returning with a recycling bin. He then exits, pulling the bin behind him, this time wearing a black mask over his forehead. Next, the video shows Chism pulling the recycling barrel outside of the school and near the student parking lot. Blood stains can reportedly be seen on Chism’s pants during the surveillance.

Body Found

The victim’s body was found covered in debris and leaves in a wooded area near the school with a slit throat. Clothing and other items, including blood soaked gloves that Chism was wearing in the video and a handwritten note reading “I hate you all,” were found near the body. The recycling bin from the video was located about 20 yards away.

Rape & Robbery

According to investigators, Chism raped the victim twice during the course of the attack, once with an object. The teen is also accused of stealing her credit cards, cellphone, underwear, and two driver’s licenses.

When Chism was discovered walking along a roadside, he was carrying a knife; a bloodstained box cutter, as well as the victim’s missing belongings, were found in his backpack. When asked where the blood came from, the boy allegedly responded, “The girl.”

Why did he do it?

Though an exact motive has not been proven, students from the victim’s algebra class told investigators that Chism became noticeably agitated when his teacher began speaking about his home state of Tennessee on the day of the killing. Details released about Chism’s home life revealed a traumatic divorce and a physically and emotionally abusive and alcoholic father.

Tried as an Adult?

Though a Massachusetts grand jury has indicted Chism on several charges, it is unclear whether or not he will be tried as an adult. Considering the gruesome nature of the attack, and the fact that he was 14 (the minimum age to be tried as an adult in the US) at the time of the offense, it is extremely likely that his case will be moved to adult court.

Chism recently pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

It is extremely chilling when horrific acts like murder and rape are committed by children, and it’s often difficult to understand what drove them to such behavior. Equally as saddening is the fact that, if convicted on all counts, the teen from the story above will likely waste the rest of his life behind bars. If your child has been accused of a serious and violent felony crime in Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, or another AZ city, the juvenile crimes attorneys from JacksonWhite will work to get them recovery treatment in lieu of incarceration. Get the protection your child needs today—dial 480-818-9943 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with dedicated JacksonWhite juvenile defense lawyer, Jeremy Geigle

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