Sex Crimes

Mass. teen charged in teacher's death challenges constitutionality of 'youthful offender' law

A Massachusetts teenager charged in the rape and murder of his math teacher is expected to appear in court as his lawyers seek to have him tried as a minor.

Attorney Denise Regan says she'll ask a Salem Superior Court judge Tuesday to dismiss "youthful offender" charges against former Danvers High School student Philip Chism.

She says the state's youthful offender law, which requires minors 14 and over that are charged with murder be tried as adults, is unconstitutional because it violates the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution's 14th amendment.

Chism, now 15, is charged in the October 2013 killing of teacher Colleen Ritzer.

He's also facing attempted murder and other charges stemming from an assault on a Department of Youth Services worker while in custody earlier this year.