SALEM, Mass. — A Salem Superior Court judge has sentenced Philip Chism to 25 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, in the murder of Colleen Ritzer.
Chism, a Massachusetts teenager who was convicted of the 2013 rape and murder of his math teacher, was also sentenced to 40 years in prison for each count of rape and robbery. He was 14 at the time of the crimes.
While court rulings that limit sentencing for juvenile murder defendants would have made him eligible for parole after 25 years, the concurrent 40-year rape and robbery sentences will make him 54 before he is first up for parole.
Prosecutors wanted Chism, now 17, to spend at least 50 years in prison for Ritzer’s rape, robbery and murder before he is eligible to seek parole.
His attorneys wanted Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy to impose a sentence that would let Chism seek parole by the age of 40.
Friday's sentencing hearing began with victim impact statements from Ritzer's parents, siblings, friends, aunt, cousin and a preschool teacher, who remembered Ritzer as a joyful young woman who loved life and loved her job as a math teacher at Danvers High School.