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14-year-old pleads not guilty to murder, other charges, in slaying of popular Danvers teacher

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SALEM — With grief-stricken family members of his alleged victim looking on, a 14-year-old boy on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to charges that he robbed, raped, and murdered popular Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in October.

Philip Chism, who was shackled at the ankles and wore tan pants, a shirt and tie, and dark sweater, is charged as an adult with murder and as a youthful offender with armed robbery and aggravated rape. He pleaded not guilty in Essex Superior Court here to the murder charge, and the same plea was entered on his behalf to the additional counts.

Chism sat between his lawyers and stared straight ahead during the arraignment, and he looked at the floor as he was led away by court officers.

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