Chism trial halted as competency questions arise

Philip Chism
Philip Chism

Jury selection was about to begin in the trial of Philip Chism before a judge ordered him to a psychiatric hospital to determine his mental competency. Chism was 14-years-old in 2013 when he allegedly raped and killed his teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer of Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts. Chism allegedly raped her not only physically but also with a tree branch before slitting her throat and leaving her body in the woods. Chism has been charged as an adult.

Chism is said to be uncooperative in aiding his defense by not talking to his attorneys. His defense also claims that he is suicidal, has banged his head against the floor and is hearing voices. The prosecution believes he’s faking it and I tend to agree. I’ve previously read and posted about subjects who have used the ‘hearing voices’ excuse to angle for a stay in a mental institution rather than prison. Also as far as I know, and please correct me if I’m wrong, there has been no previous history of Chism having auditory hallucinations so I seriously doubt he’s having them now. I don’t blame the judge for ordering more evaluation since all bases should be covered to limit appeals if Chism should be convicted and in my opinion he should be.

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