SALEM — A jury has found Philip Chism guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated rape, and armed robbery in the death of Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer.
Chism will receive a life sentence for murder, but because he is a juvenile, he can seek parole in 15 years. With the two years of time he's already spent in custody, he could go before the parole board before he's 30.
Sentencing will likely be next month. A status hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 to set a specific date.
The defense attorneys had no comment leaving court. Jurors were escorted to their cars and declined comment.
Jurors had 140 exhibits, including medical records and more than an hour of video, and had to consider the testimony of more than 50 witnesses. The defense claimed he suffered from mental illness.
Chism, now 16, was in his second month at Danvers High School, a student in several honors classes.
Ritzer, 24, was in her second year of teaching math at Danvers High School.
Their paths came together in the freshman math class Ritzer taught.
On the afternoon of Oct. 22, 2013, that class fell at the end of the day. Danvers High had a rotating "block" schedule.
Chism made a stop at his locker before heading to Ritzer's second-floor classroom. Video shows him carrying one of the two drawstring backpacks he'd brought to school with him that day, along with his regular backpack.
There was conflicting testimony about why Chism had decided to stay after school that day. One classmate who sat near Chism testified that he heard Ritzer ask Chism, who hadn't been paying attention in class that day, to stay after school. But when Ritzer's colleague, Sarah Giaquinta, spoke to Ritzer in the hall outside her classroom that afternoon, Ritzer told her she didn't know why Chism was there.
It was shortly after that conversation, which jurors saw on a silent surveillance video, that Ritzer announced to Chism and another student, a girl, that she was going to leave soon.
Then, the chilling scene: Ritzer, in her purple sweater and black pants, leaves the classroom, waving and smiling at someone.
Seconds later, Chism, who had changed clothes, walked into the hallway, looked back and forth, patted his pocket, then ducked back into the doorway for a moment. When he emerged, the hood of the shirt was over his head, which was looking down, his hand up near his face as he walked under the surveillance camera.
Then, he started to saunter, something the prosecutor suggested was his effort to avoid catching up with Ritzer until she was inside the bathroom, and vulnerable.
He pulled on a pair of gloves before entering.
Later, Chism was captured again on video, in a ski mask, wheeling a recycling bin out of the bathroom.
In the woods, prosecutors said, Chism continued what he'd started in the bathroom.
It's unclear whether the judge will have the authority to sentence Chism to consecutive terms or whether they will be imposed concurrently, or at the same time.
It's unclear where Chism would spend the two years until he turns 18. He's been housed, pre-trial, at a secure Department of Youth Services lockup in Worcester, because of his age.
He's also still facing charges of attempted murder in connection with an incident in June 2014 at the DYS Metropolitan Center in Boston. That's where he had been held before he allegedly attacked a woman working there. Prosecutors have called it a strikingly similar attack.