Mass. teen murder suspect challenges law

Lawyer challenging state law requires him to be tried as an adult

philip chism

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A lawyer for a Massachusetts teenager charged in the rape and murder of his math teacher will ask a judge to dismiss “youthful offender” charges against him and send the case to Juvenile Court.

Philip Chism’s lawyer is challenging the constitutionality of a state law that requires him to be tried as an adult.

Chism is charged in the killing of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in October. He was 14 at the time. The youthful offender law requires that those 14 and over who are charged with murder must be tried as adults.

Attorney Denise Regan maintains that the law violates the right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Regan is scheduled to argue the motion before a judge Tuesday in Salem Superior Court.

 

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