DANVERS — Weeks after quoting from a transcript of accused killer Philip Chism’s alleged murder confession in a motion to bar it from being used against him at trial, Chism’s lawyers are now seeking to prevent the public from hearing the rest of what Chism told police that night. 

On Monday, Chism’s lawyers filed a pre-emptive motion to impound, or seal, any video recording or transcript prosecutors might submit to a judge to refute the defense’s claim that Chism was illegally coerced into confessing to the murder of teacher Colleen Ritzer. 

The claim that state and Danvers police pressured both Chism and his mother, Diana, into cooperating, and ignored Diana Chism’s request for a lawyer for her son, following her son’s Oct. 23 arrest, is the basis of a motion to suppress the interview from being used as evidence at trial.

A two-day hearing on that motion is scheduled for this Friday and next Friday. But the defense is also asking Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy to seal the video or a transcript of the confession, should prosecutors seek to use it to rebut the defense claims.

Chism, now 15, of Danvers, is charged with first-degree murder as an adult, and with robbery and rape as a youthful offender, in the Oct. 22, 2013 murder of Ritzer, 24, of North Andover. Ritzer was his Danvers High School math teacher. 

Chism’s lawyers, Denise Regan and Susan Oker, call the interrogation evidence “highly inculpatory and inflammatory” and that its release prior to trial would prejudice potential jurors. 

“We were not planning to file that,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. “We will state our position in court.” 

It was Regan and Oker, in their motion filed last month, who initially released excerpts from the transcript in an attempt to bolster their argument that Chism, then 14, did not voluntarily waive his right against self-incrimination, and that he and his mother were reluctant at first, until succumbing to pressure from police. 

For instance, when asked by the investigators if he wanted to talk about what had happened, Chism is quoted as saying, “Ah, not really.” 

And Diana Chism is quoted as telling investigators “I just want him to have an attorney.” She later changed her position, and is quoted as telling her son, “You make the decision. Do you want to talk?” 

The defense, as part of the hearing starting Friday, has said in court that they plan to call an expert on the psychology of teenage decision-making.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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