Daily News Bulletin: Mass. teen receives at least 40 years in rape, death of teacher

Mass. teen receives at least 40 years in rape, death of teacher

A Massachusetts teen was sentenced Friday to at least 40 years in prison for the 2013 rape and killing of his high school teacher whose body was found discarded in a recycling bin in the woods.

The sentence imposed on Philip Chism, 17, in Essex County, Mass., Superior Court in Salem came shortly after the victim’s mother denounced the teen as someone who is “pure evil” and deserves a harsh sentence, the Boston Globe and other news outlets reported.

Judge David Lowy condemned Chism for the attack on Colleen Ritzer that took place in a second-floor girls’ bathroom at Danvers High School on Oct. 22, 2013.

“Colleen Ritzer lived a life of quiet heroism,” the Globe quoted Lowy as saying of the 24-year-old teacher. “The crashing waves of this tragedy will never end.”

The judge noted the teen was abused by his father, who was in and out of his life, but added prosecutors presented enough evidence to show Prism was legally sane when he attacked Ritzer after classes, the Globe reported.

In pleading for a harsh sentence, the teen’s mother, Peggie Ritzer, said in court: “He is pure evil and evil can never be rehabilitated,” the Boston Herald reported. “Colleen will never get a second chance and neither should he.” (USA Today)

Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie offered a surprise endorsement to Donald Trump on Friday, saying there is no one better prepared to lead the country or defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should she become the Democratic nominee.

“I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States,” the New Jersey Republican told reporters at a press conference in Texas. “The best person to beat Hillary Clinton on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald Trump.”

Christie is the first of Trump’s former rivals for the Republican nomination to endorse the billionaire presidential candidate, who has now won three out of four primary contests and is increasingly viewed as the most likely candidate to become the GOP nominee. The endorsement gives him an establishment endorsement and once again Trump has stolen the news cycle from his primary opponent Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Christie, who has long been family friends with Trump, pledged he would help Trump campaign for the presidency through the general election in November. He introduced Trump at a rally Friday in Fort Worth, Texas, and will also appear with him in Oklahoma City Friday evening.

The endorsement came as a surprise to the assembled press, and audible gasps could be heard as Christie walked into the room with Trump. Trump said during his Texas rally that he wanted to “keep it a secret for the people of Texas.” (CNN)

Inmate Firefighter, 22, Dies After Being Injured While Working Malibu Brush Fire

A 22-year-old inmate firefighter died after being struck by a falling boulder while working a brush fire in Malibu, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Friday.

Shawna Lynn Jones was part of a hand crew working in a steep ravine on Thursday when the boulder rolled down a hill, officials said.

The young woman sustained major head injuries and was airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where she was listed in critical condition.

She was later taken off life support and her organs were donated, keeping with her family’s wishes, the Corrections Department said.

“Her death is a tragic reminder of the danger that inmate firefighters face when they volunteer to confront fires to save homes and lives,” said department Secretary Scott Kernan. “On behalf of all of us in the department, I send my deepest condolences to her family.”

Jones was a Los Angeles County inmate and joined the firefighting program in August 2015.

She was assigned to the Malibu Camp, which is jointly operated with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and is one of three that houses a total of 195 female firefighters.

Jones was the third inmate firefighter to die on the fire line since the program started in 1943, according to the department, which added that female inmates were incorporated in 1983.

About 3,500 inmate firefighters work to cut containment lines, stop the spread of wildfires and douse hot springs during cleanup, according to the Corrections Department.

The inmates are housed at the department’s 44 conservation camps, which are in partnership with Cal Fire. Five are jointly managed with the L.A. County Fire Department.

The Malibu fire, dubbed the Mulholland Fire, burned 10 acres and was fully contained by Thursday night.(KTLA)


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