Trial for teacher’s killing may be moved to WMass

Lawyers say extensive media coverage has "poisoned" his right to a fair trial

Philip Chism (right) was convicted of killing 24 year-old Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer (left)

SALEM, Mass. (WWLP) – The trial of a 16 year-old accused of stabbing his algebra teacher to death could be moved to western Massachusetts. A hearing for Philip Chism is being held at Salem Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, during which time a judge will consider the defense’s request to relocate his trial for the killing of Colleen Ritzer.

Chism is charged with murder, rape, and robbery in connection with the killing of the 24 year-old teacher, which took place when Chism was only 14. Prosecutors say Chism repeatedly stabbed Ritzer inside a bathroom at Danvers High School, and then dumped her body in the woods near the school.

Attorneys for Chism say that extensive coverage of the case, as well as coverage of the tributes to Ritzer have “poisoned” the teenager’s right to a fair trial in the Boston area.

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