Reporting Maria Medina
ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Roseville police have arrested the son of a Roseville business man who was murdered last Memorial Day weekend.
Police arrested 25-year-old Christopher Jon Michael Northam of Sacramento in connection with the murder of his father, 44-year-old Christopher Northam Sr. He was gunned down inside of his business, Skim X, on Industrial Avenue on May 30, 2011.
The Placer County District Attorney’s Office says Northam Jr. could face the death penalty in the case. He has been charged with one count of premeditated murder and special circumstances allegations that the murder was committed for financial gain and that the defendant had been lying in wait for the victim.
Detectives also arrested the suspect’s ex-wife, 34-year-old Averill Elizabeth Easley, as an accessory after the fact.
Easley is suspected of giving false and misleading information to police about key facts that delayed and obstructed their investigation.
For months Judy Meecham wondered why Roseville police never came knocking at the door of her daughter’s Rocklin business, where Christopher Northam rented a mailbox.
“I said to my daughter, ‘I am so surprised that the police have not come by to confiscate what’s in the box,’” she told CBS13.
If investigators did, she says, it’s possible they may have identified the murder suspect much sooner. Instead, it would take nine months to make an arrest.
“We have had a number of potential suspects in this case,” Lt. Mark Toupin said.
And police say there were a number of investors involved in Northam’s business who were angry at him, making the case complex.
Investigators poured over financial records, conducted wiretaps and surveillance. But in the end, it was Northam’s own son who they say pulled the trigger.
Meecham says if police had talked to her, she would have told them just weeks after the murder Northam Jr. stopped by and asked how quickly he could get a passport. Meecham says she would have also told them about the tense father-son relationship the two had.
“He was a very, very nice man but he did have a temper and we saw that occasionally,” she said of Northam Sr., who she says yelled at his son in public.
As for Northam Jr., she said he was a “quiet young man but almost a little timid I would say.”
Northam is being held in the Placer County Jail without bail.
Easley was also booked into the Placer County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Both are scheduled to appear in court on Friday.