Three murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony charges each were certified over to Chesterfield Circuit Court last week against Christopher Gattis. A grand jury will consider indictments on May 21.
Gattis, 58, has been held in the county jail without bail since he was arrested Thanksgiving Day at his residence at 14955 Dogwood Circle, where police found the bodies of his wife, his stepdaughter and her boyfriend: Jeanett L. Gattis, 58, Candice L. Kunze, 30, and Andrew E. Buthorn, 36.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations and General District court judges found probable cause to certify the charges in preliminary hearings on April 10 and 11, according to court records and a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The cases involving Gattis’ wife and stepdaughter were handled in the JD&R Court and Buthorn’s was in General District Court.
According to the daily paper, Gattis’ attorney, John Rockecharlie, said his client admitted to shooting the victims but said it was done because they were “ganging up on him.” An officer’s body camera video was played in the JD&R Court April 10. In the video, Gattis said he had consumed three alcoholic beverages the night of Nov. 23.
In court, a prosecutor identified the weapon used in the shootings as a .45-caliber pistol, according to the daily.
Gattis had been convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2012 after accosting a newspaper deliveryman whose son had thrown a newspaper onto Gattis’ driveway. The conviction was appealed to Circuit Court and dismissed. In 2010, he paid a $25 fine plus $82 fee related to a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication/profanity.
Gattis was the youth director at Grace Lutheran Church.