Accused murderer back in court with new attorney

Northam, 25, has pleaded not guilty
By: Penne Usher, Press Tribune Correspondent
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A man accused of fatally shooting his father last year was in a Roseville courtroom Wednesday with his new attorney Mary Beth Acton.

Christopher Jon Michael Northam, 25, of Sacramento, recently retained Acton to represent him. Northam has been charged with one count of murder and a special allegation of murder for financial gain for the May 30, 2011 killing of Christopher D. Northam.

Christopher Northam has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Wednesday's proceedings were to clarify wording on a few previously filed motions.

Acton also requested subpoenas for cell phone records of both the elder and junior Northam.

Northam was arrested Feb. 22 and has been held without bail in the Placer County Jail accused of murdering his father at the elder Northam's Roseville business, Skim X, on Memorial Day 2011.

Co-defendant Averill Easley, 34, is accused of accessory to murder after the fact. At the time of the alleged murder, she was engaged to Christopher Northam. In the year since, they were married and subsequently had the marriage annulled. Easley was in court represented by Tasha Paris Chalfant.

Easley has pleaded not guilty to all charges. She is accused of repeatedly giving false information to police during the investigation with the intent to mislead officers.

The senior Northam was the founder of Skim X and creator of "Extreme Skim" - specially designed water ramps and boards which athletes use to hydroplane and perform tricks.

After several years of development, the "extreme" water park was scheduled to open in early summer 2011. Instead, its founder was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds.

It is alleged that the younger Northam used a .223-caliber rifle, similar to an AR15, to murder his father for financial gain.

Northam is scheduled to return to court July 18 for further proceedings. Easley, who remains free on bail, was granted a waiver and will not have to appear in court that day.