The Latest: Mom of dead teacher says sentence 'unacceptable'

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Posted: Feb 26, 2016 9:41 PM
The Latest: Mom of dead teacher says sentence 'unacceptable'

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a Massachusetts teenager convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

The mother of a Massachusetts high school math teacher raped and killed by one of her students says the sentence imposed on the teenager is "unacceptable."

Seventeen-year-old Philip Chism (CHIHZ'-uhm) was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the murder of Colleen Ritzer but will be eligible for parole after serving 40 years. He was 14 at the time of the killing.

Peggie Ritzer and her husband, Tom Ritzer, say Chism should never have a chance to get out of prison.

They lashed out at the state's highest court, which ruled in 2013 that juveniles could not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Chism's lawyers acknowledged he killed his teacher but blamed mental illness.

Chism will be placed in a state juvenile detention facility until he is 21. He will then be sent to a state prison.

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This item has been corrected to show the teacher's mother's name is Peggie, not Peggy.

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3 p.m.

The mother of a Massachusetts teenager who was 14 when he raped and killed his math teacher has cried quietly as a judge pronounced his sentence.

Seventeen-year-old Philip Chism (CHIHZ'-uhm) was sentenced Friday to life in prison with the possibility of parole on a murder charge. He received 40-year concurrent sentences on rape and robbery charges.

Judge David Lowy said before handing down the sentence that Colleen Ritzer's slaying was "brutal and senseless," and "the crashing waves of this tragedy will never wane."

The judge says he knows Chism had a difficult upbringing but that doesn't excuse his actions.

Ritzer's family and supporters sat silently during sentencing.

Chism will be placed in a state juvenile detention facility until he's 21. He'll then be sent to a state prison.

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2:25 p.m.

A Massachusetts teenager who was 14 when he raped and killed his math teacher has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years.

Seventeen-year-old Philp Chism (CHIHZ'-uhm) was sentenced Friday in Salem Superior Court in the slaying of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in 2013.

The judge pronounced the sentence after hearing victim-impact statements from Ritzer's parents, siblings and colleagues. Many of them wore pink, her favorite color.

Prosecutors had asked that Chism be sentenced to life at least 50 years in prison — consecutive sentences of life with the possibility of parole in 25 years on the rape and murder charges.

Chism's attorneys asked that their client be given concurrent sentences and be eligible for parole at age 40.

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This story has been corrected to show Chism is eligible for parole in 40 years, not 25 years.

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1:30 p.m.

A prosecutor says a Massachusetts teenager who raped and killed his math teacher is manipulative and should be locked up for 50 years.

Prosecutor Kate MacDougall asked for two consecutive life sentences for 17-year-old Philip Chism (CHIHZ'-uhm) with eligibility of parole in 25 years that would keep him behind bars into his 60s.

She called Chism "manipulative," ''narcissistic" and a poor candidate for rehabilitation, reminding the judge that he's also accused of attacking a woman at a youth detention facility.

Defense attorney Susan Oker asked for a sentence that would make Chism eligible for parole no later than age 40. She cited scientific studies that said a juvenile brain is not fully developed.

Chism was 14 when he killed Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in 2013.

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11:30 a.m.

The mother of a Massachusetts high school math teacher killed by one of her students says the death has left her "so very broken."

Peggie Ritzer was the last of nine people to read victim-impact statements at the sentencing hearing Friday for 17-year-old Philip Chism (CHIHZ'-uhm). He was 14 when he killed Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in 2013.

Her father, Tom, said a dad's job is to fix things, and he would do anything to fix what happened to his daughter.

Colleen Ritzer's brother and sister, colleagues and lifelong friends described a young woman who loved her job, loved her students, loved life and never had a negative word to say.

Prosecutors have asked the judge to send Chism to prison for 50 years.

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10:30 a.m.

The sentencing hearing for a Massachusetts teenager convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher is underway.

A judge is expected to sentence 17-year-old Philip Chism (CHIHZ-uhm) on Friday after hearing nine victim-impact statements from Colleen Ritzer's family and friends.

Many of them are wearing pink, Ritzer's favorite color.

Chism was 14 when he killed the 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher in 2013.

His mother, Diane, released a statement Friday expressing her sorrow.

She said her prayers were with the Ritzer family "as they continue their journey to heal."

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9 a.m.

A Massachusetts teenager convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher faces a sentence of up to life in prison when a judge hands out his punishment.

Philip Chism (CHIHZ-uhm) was convicted in December in the 2013 death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer. He's scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Salem Superior Court.

The 17-year-old Chism faces life on the murder charge, but would be eligible for parole after 15 to 25 years because he was 14 at the time of the killing. He also faces lengthy sentences on charges of aggravated rape and robbery. Prosecutors have asked that he stay in prison for at least 50 years.

The defense admitted Chism killed Ritzer but said he was suffering from severe mental illness and wasn't criminally responsible for his actions.