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Son arrested for murder of his father

rocklin man found dead at his business
By: ToLewis, Gold Country News Service
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Roseville police have arrested a Sacramento man they believe murdered his own father for financial gain last year. Christopher Jon Michael Northam, 25, formerly of Lincoln, was arrested Wednesday morning after a nine-month investigation that included a nationwide search of financial records, wire taps and other types of surveillance, according to police. Northam’s father, Christopher D. Northam, was found murdered on May 30, 2011 inside a Roseville sports complex where he had hoped to open the world’s first “extreme skimboarding” park. The senior Northam, a resident of Rocklin, had founded Skim X and the concept of Extreme Skim, a new action sport that uses what looks like skateboard ramps with water flowing out the top, and specially-designed boards which athletes use to hydroplane and perform tricks. Christopher D. Northam had hopes the new sport would make it to the X Games and the Olympics. He planned on opening the business around the beginning of last summer. On May 30, neighbors of the business, located in the 8200 block of Industrial Avenue, reported hearing a loud argument followed by gun shots shortly after 3 p.m. Christopher D. Northam was found by police deceased with multiple gunshot wounds, according to Lt. Mark Toupin of the Roseville Police Department. Toupin said police believe Northam’s son was “lying in wait” and used a .223 rifle, similar to an AR15 (the civilian version of the M16 rifle used by today’s military) to shoot his father several times. The murder weapon has not been found, Toupin said. Toupin said that police had to carefully sort through “mounds of evidence” and eliminate all potential suspects before making the arrest. “We determined that Christopher Jon Michael Northam was at the scene of the crime that day,” Toupin said at a press conference Wednesday. “We were able to prove conclusively that they were both there at the same time.” Toupin said that police had interviewed several potential suspects in the case and had meticulously ruled each one out during the investigation. “We wanted to rule out as many people as we possibly could,” he said. “Think of everybody whom somebody might say was involved and rule everything out. And we have.” Toupin could not specify how the younger Northam expected to profit from his father’s murder, but he did say he was an officer with the company. “(Skim X) was constantly seeking new investors,” Toupin said. “At various points, the business had financial problems.” Larry Flure’s business, Allstar Powder Coating, was next door to Skim X when it was at its original location in the 10000 block of Industrial Avenue. Flure told the Press Tribune in June that Christopher D. Northam was behind on his rent and owed a lot of money prior to relocating the business to the 8200 block of Industrial Avenue in 2010. “He was a businessman,” Toupin said. “A number of his business dealings were a little bit contentious, and we had to talk to those various suspects in the case and rule them out.” Also arrested was the younger Northam’s ex-wife, Averill Elizabeth Easley, 34, of Roseville, who is charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact. Toupin said Easley was interviewed several times and repeatedly gave police false information, which prolonged the investigation. Easley and Christopher Jon Michael Northam were engaged at the time of the murder, he continued. The two were married sometime afterward, but the marriage has since been annulled. Christopher Jon Michael Northam was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday during a traffic stop on Eureka Road in Roseville. Easley was arrested around the same time at a gym in Rocklin, Toupin said. Their first appearance in court is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 in Department 13 at the Placer County Jail courtroom. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.