Prosecution rests in teen’s murder trial

Philip Chism, left, appears in Salem Superior Court where a judge declared the Massachusetts teenager charged with raping and killing his math teacher competent to stand trial, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Salem, Mass. (Ken Yuszkus/The Salem News via AP, Pool)

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Prosecutors have rested their case in the trial of a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his math teacher.

Sixteen-year-old Philip Chism is charged with rape and murder in the October 2013 slaying of 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer.

The prosecution rested its case on Monday after calling Dr. Anna McDonald, a medical examiner who testified that the attack on Ritzer was so violent that it was impossible to determine if she was already dead before being attacked in woods behind the school.

Prosecutors say the attack began earlier in a girl’s bathroom inside the high school.

Defense attorneys have acknowledged that Chism, who was 14 at the time, killed Ritzer, but they contend he has severe mental illness and is not criminally responsible for his actions.

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