The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

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October 26, 2013

Teacher killer defendant's mom says her 'heart is broken'

(Continued)

DANVERS, Mass. —

Meanwhile, additional details emerged about the defendant, who moved with his mother and two younger sisters to Danvers, a north of Boston suburb, in July from Clarksville, Tenn., which is north of Memphis.

Students at Danvers High and acquaintances in Clarksville described the teenager as quiet and mild-mannered. An uncle in Tennessee told the Boston Globe he was sure authorities "probably have mistaken identity."

The defendant's parents filed for divorce in 2001, when Chism was two years old, but the case was never completed. The mother's filing accused her husband of "physical abuse, sexual abuse, or a pattern of emotional abuse" and adultery.

Funeral services were held for the slain teacher Sunday in her hometown of Andover, Mass. She was recalled as a devoted math teacher who was pursuing a master's degree in student counseling and cared dearly about her students.

The teacher's family announced a scholarship fund in her name to benefit Andover High School graduates who study in college for a career in teaching.

"We are simply overwhelmed by the many generous offers of so many who wish to support a lasting legacy for Colleen," the Ritzer family said in a statement. "This scholarship fund is an appropriate way to honor Colleen's tireless and dedicated work to puruse such a worthy and rewarding profession."

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Details for this story were provided by the attorney for the murder defendant, NBC News and The Salem News.

 

 

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