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Former Chester youth director who murdered family on Thanksgiving will spend rest of life in prison

Christopher Gattis

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — The former youth director who murdered his wife, step-daughter and her boyfriend on Thanksgiving night will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Christopher R. Gattis pleaded guilty in Chesterfield Circuit Court Wednesday to three-counts of first degree murder and one count of felony use of a firearm, receiving a total of 58 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

The victims, 58-year-old Jeanett L. Gattis, 30-year-old Candice L. Kunze and 36-year-old Andrew E. Buthorn, were all found dead at the Gattis’ home on Dogwood Ridge Court in Chester after being shot by Gattis on Nov. 23 – Thanksgiving night.

Gattis, who had previously served as a full-time youth director at Grace Lutheran Church, was still at the home when the police arrived and was arrested at the scene without incident.