Jurors didn’t believe Philip Chism’s claims of hearing commanding voices that told him to stab 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer to death two years ago in a Danvers High School bathroom. Chism’s defense attorneys had presented an insanity defense, describing him as a severely mentally ill 14-year-old who was in the throes of psychosis when he killed Ritzer.
There were testimony of psychologist for the prosecution about tests that indicated Chism was faking or exaggerating his symptoms
Chism, 16, was convicted of one count of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Because he’s a juvenile, the judge will have to set parole after 15 or 25 years.
Chism was also found guilty of one count of aggravated rape and one count of armed robbery. Each of those counts carry the possibility of up to life in prison, though he will also be eligible for parole because of his age.
Chism still faces attempted murder charges in Suffolk County stemming from an attack on a Department of Youth Services counselor in Boston in June 2014, about seven months after Ritzer’s murder.