BIRTH: November 6, 1973
DEATH: April 30, 1985
Christopher, 11, was killed by his step-mother and her brother. They poisoned Christopher and threw his body in the Flint River to make his death look like an accidental drowning. After Christopher’s death, it took 22 years for the murderers to brought to justice. Christopher’s mother fought to have the case reopened. Finally, a fresh look was given to the case and the body of Christopher exhumed.
During the second autopsy it was found that Christopher was in fact murdered by being poisoned before being thrown into the Flint River.
The stepmother and her brother was charged with first-degree murder, of Christopher, and given the decades-long gap between the killing and the trial, the case was considered a longshot by some.
Oronde Patterson, an assistant attorney general, said the state knew it had a difficult case to prove since it had to rely on witness memories but said the case was too important not to pursue. “We had to do it,” said Patterson. Even Genesee Circuit Judge Richard B. Yuille admitted he was skeptical when the case began but said eventually “it all made sense.”
Christoper’s father, Jestine Brown, asked his wife how she could lay in bed next to him for 20 years after killing his son. “You took away the most precious thing in my life,” said Jestine Brown, who was still living with Brown near Grand Rapids when she was arrested last year.
Christopher’s mother, Brenda Simpson said, “What terrible thing could my child have done to the two of you for you to take his life? What gave you the right?”
After the father and the mother finished their statements to the murderers of their son Christopher, they were each sentenced to life in the prison.