Grahm/Dave: Can we talk about the hardest subject? So, when we were talking, the last time we talked, the last thing we talked about was where the girls were, but we never really got to talk about that night. So, what happened?
Chris: So, nothing really happened that night; it was in the morning. You know, me and Shanann, she got home at 2:00 and I felt her get in the bed. I just felt like I didn’t really – I made sure I looked at my phone and it was 2:00; I made sure she was actually in there. And I could kind of feel her kind of stirring around a little bit. I just had a feeling like she knew, like, what was going on because, I mean, obviously, I had an Anadarko gift card, you know, that I had gotten, and I used my actual credit card and I kind of felt like something, she knew what was going on. She started rubbing her hand on me and we ended up having sex. I guess that was more like a test. I would have thought.
Grahm/Dave: Oh? Interesting.
Chris: Yeah, because when we talked, when I woke up later on in the morning, like, I pretty much told her, I didn’t think it was going to work anymore. And she was like, “What happened? What was last night?” I figured that was a test after I had gone through everything in my head.
Grahm/Dave: That makes sense.
Chris: And she just told me to get off of her. And she was like, “I knew there was somebody else. I knew there was somebody else. I knew there was somebody else.” I couldn’t just say, “Yes, there is somebody else.” But then she said, “You’re never going to see the kids again. You’re never going to see them again. Get off me. Don’t hurt the baby.” Because when I climbed in bed, I was pretty much like on top, pretty much straddling her. She thought I was going to hurt her or hurt the baby or something. Because she knew that something had happened, so thought I was just trying to check out something. And that’s when that happened.
Grahm/Dave: I know it’s hard. But do you mind if we talk just a tiny bit deeper about that. So, she comes home, you know, she touches you and you guys have sex; it seems like she’s doing her test, which I understand. It sounds like you did too.
Chris: I’m sure that Nikole Atkinson or Cassy probably told her —
Grahm/Dave: That’s what I was thinking. They talked about it during that whole weekend.
Chris: More than likely. My parents told me there was – going through text messages, it’s like pretty much, they all kind of told her he’s with somebody else.
Grahm/Dave: And she had spent a lot of time with the gals and that’s what they did probably all weekend is talk about it, give her advice. I think that’s what we found. So, she comes home, you guys have sex, and then did you fall asleep between then and going to work?
Grahm/Dave: So then, at some point, does she wake you up? Or did you wake up for work?
Chris: Our alarm.
Grahm/Dave: And you were going to work out? But then that’s when she started talking, wanted to talk more. She was pretty mad?
Chris: Yeah, she – I mean, it was. I already kind of knew that, you know, using that credit card was going, it was —
Grahm/Dave: Was that intentional?
Chris: I had no other way to do it. Because I used Anadarko gift cards from doing stuff at work and stuff like that. I used them all.
Grahm/Dave: Was part of you, like, “Screw it. Whatever, I don’t care. I’m using this card.”
Chris: Part of me just wanted to say, “Nikki, can you pay for this?” I just, I don’t know. Even, I think, my attorney said, she even noticed I used a different card, like a blue card. Maybe she thought, you know, I felt comfortable enough just using a normal bank account or something. I told her I was going to a Rockies game and I told you I was to [inaudible 00:39:19]. It felt like – looking back at everything, just like reading the scripture more and more, I can see, God gave me opportunities to get out. Even my friend, Jeremy, he even invited me because it was his daughter that came and watched the kids on that Saturday night and he was like, “Hey, [inaudible 00:39:41] going to a Rockies game? You want to go with me to the Bronco game and watch the Arizona –?” In my mind, it was like, go. Just say, “I can’t find a babysitter.”
Grahm/Dave: To Nikki?
Chris: Yeah. And maybe that would have been like, a light switch in my head goes off, a light switch in her head goes off, maybe it just goes in different directions. That was my opportunity to get out, it seems like. I wish I would have just said, “Yeah, let’s go.” I think that would have just put me on a different trajectory.
Grahm/Dave: So then, Shanann, did she actually say, you’re never going to see the kids again?
Chris: She said that to me before.
Grahm/Dave: Was that hard to hear?
Chris: Yeah, because she’d said that to me before she went to Arizona. Because like I wasn’t really sleeping in the bedroom; I was sleeping on the couch or in the basement or something and like she had [inaudible 00:40:40], “You’re never going to see the kids again.”
Grahm/Dave: Did she get fiery like that?
Chris: Only once in our entire relationship I’ve ever seen her that way.
Grahm/Dave: And that was the time before or was that on the night that it happened?
Chris: No, it was probably back in North Carolina. It was just a fiery argument; like I never raised my voice to her or anything. I just got mad and I slammed the door and she’s like, “Get out!” I’m like, “I shouldn’t have slammed the door.”
Grahm/Dave: Was that when you were in North Carolina that last week?
Chris: No, this was like 2010, 2011. It was like early, early in our old house.
Grahm/Dave: Before kids?
Grahm/Dave: Were you dating or were you married at that point?
Chris: Dating. I don’t even remember what it was about. I think some girl maybe texted me from my past or something and I was just like, “Who’s this?” and she was like, “Don’t have that happen again.” I was like, “I can’t have friends? Or females? I don’t even talk to this woman anymore.”
Grahm/Dave: Was she fiery? Did she have that Italian blood that her mom has?
Chris: Good Lord, yes.
Grahm/Dave: Was she always like that? Could she snap at things?
Chris: She would snap at me, but you could tell, if something really irked her a little bit, it would come out.
Grahm/Dave: Zero to 100 type thing or what?
Chris: Yeah, zero to 200. If she aggravated about something, she’s like, all right, this is going to happen.
Grahm/Dave: Well, that’s why she was probably so successful at Thrive, right?
Chris: Oh yeah. Like she had done a couple of other direct sales businesses, but this one was different.
Chris: This one, because I think she had done like Origami Owl and like something called It Works and then a couple of other things, some bags and stuff like that, but this supplement stuff, because it worked for her, it worked for me. She’s like “Okay, I can use this, like, this is what it’s doing for us.” And then, after a little while, she could see how people who were above her, how it was helping them and then it was just like a trickle-down effect. It was a good system, commission-wise and everything. She could use all the business IQ she has from running those cell phone shops and from the Dirty Sock Custom shops, all that. She’s business minded. She knows how to do an accounting book like the back of her hand. But it all just fell into place with all that.
Grahm/Dave: So, then on that night, was it just a new type of fight you never had or what? What happened?
Chris: Yeah, it was a totally different type of fight; it was like, it just felt like, I don’t know if it was more anger than anything else. Like, there was emotion to it at first and then it just felt like it was just anger. It was just like there was no love there. It was kind of like – we were saying what she was saying, it was just like, it was almost like we knew something was combatting at each other. We didn’t know, like, it wasn’t ourselves.
The conversation was diverted for a bit, but they pick it up here…
Tammy: Can I ask you something about that morning that you had sex with Shanann? Did you feel at all like maybe you were kind of cheating on Nikki by doing that?
Chris: I felt strange. The first time I was with Nikki, I felt weird and then the last time I was with Shanann, I felt totally strange. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know who I had become. I felt like I’d become [inaudible 00:58:01] and that did not feel right with me. I didn’t know what had happened to me. Nikki even asked me, “Have you done this before?” I’m like, “I’d never even thought about it.” She was like, “What’s different?” I was like, “I guess it’s just you that’s different because I’ve never actually…” I’ve seen girls smile at me before, I’ve never done anything about it, with her it was just like, like she had a leash on me and she tugged me away as soon as she – I was like, what the heck is going on?
Grahm/Dave: And Tammy brings up a very good point. I wonder if that last time with Shanann having sex had somewhat of a role in you thinking, “I’ve got to do something; I’ve got to say something. We’ve got to have a talk. Something’s got to change.” Is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah, it felt like maybe it was a trigger point or something like you hit the push button on a bomb and it just blows up. Something in my head, there’s just like, something was irking, like I had to say something.
Grahm/Dave: Exactly what did you say and what happened?
Chris: When I woke her up and I was just like, “We’ve just got to talk.” I told her, “I don’t feel compatible. I don’t feel like this is going to work. I want to – can we cancel the trip to Aspen?” Because she had booked a trip that week to go to some mystery four-star luxury hotel or something.
Grahm/Dave: Just the two of you, or the whole family?
Chris: Just me and her. She had Amanda there to watch the kids that weekend or something. I was just like, “Can we cancel that? Can we do something?” From what I remember, I even said, “Can we move to Brighton?” Just to get away from this house. I’m not sure if that was like the beginning or the end of our other conversation or whatnot. That conversation went so many different ways. It had gone from staying together to not staying together to all the above.
Grahm/Dave: So, this is half an hour, an hour, what?
Chris: Definitely not more than half an hour. I don’t think.
Tammy: Are you crying, is she crying?
Chris: It’s back and forth. You know, she’s got mascara – she didn’t wash her face when she got home, so she had makeup on still, so her mascara was running all over her and stuff like that. And it was – nothing about that conversation – I just wish I could take all of it back, the whole thing back, everything, but.
Grahm/Dave: So, when did it turn?
Chris: As far as the conversation?
Chris: Just at the end when I was telling her, like, I told her I didn’t love her anymore and that’s when it happened.
Grahm/Dave: What happened?
Chris: She told me to get off of her and [inaudible 01:00:52].
Tammy: Didn’t you say she said something like you were hurting the baby or something?
Chris: That was before that because when I was straddling her, I was kind of like around her waist type deal.
Tammy: Why did you get on her like that?
Chris: When we get on the bed, that’s just the way I got on.
Grahm/Dave: Is that so she would listen to you?
Chris: I felt like she could probably listen to me just laying on the side, but I got on top of her and every time I think about it, I’m just like, “Did I know I was going to do that before I got on top of her?”
Grahm/Dave: Really? That’s an interesting thought, Chris. You don’t know if you knew.
Chris: It’s just like, you know, everything that happened that morning, I don’t know, like, I try to go back in my head and I’m just like, I didn’t want to do this, but I did it. Because everything just kind of like —
Tammy: Felt like you had to?
Chris: It just felt like it was – I don’t even want to say it felt like I had to, it just felt like there was already something in my mind that was implanted that I was going to do it and I woke up that morning and it was going to happen and I had no control of it.
Grahm/Dave: You never thought about it before?
Chris: It was just like, I don’t want – like in the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor said, it takes two to four minutes for something like that to happen. Why couldn’t I just let go?
Dave: Was it feeling like it was in motion and you just couldn’t stop it?
Chris: Yeah, I don’t even want to know what she saw when she looked back at me, honestly.
Tammy: Did you look at her? What was she doing?
Chris: She wasn’t fighting.
Tammy: Why do you think she wasn’t fighting?
Chris: I don’t know, maybe she was praying. I read the bible, it said, you know, the scripture says, “Forgive these people for they do not know what they do.” Maybe she was saying that. I don’t know what she was saying in her head. Like when you guys told me, “Take off your shirt” and start checking for defensive wounds, there wasn’t going to be any. She didn’t fight. I don’t know why.
Tammy: Could she grab your arms or were her arms pinned down?
Chris: Not that I remember, I don’t think so. I don’t think I moved to where my knees were around her arms or anything. It was just kind of like when I got on top of her, we started talking and that was it. It’s kind of like in my head or like in the back of my head, that was going to happen and just like at the end of the conversation, it was just like, that’s what happened. I just wish I could have let go.
Tammy: Did it seem like it was that long? Two to four minutes? How long did it seem for you?
Chris: It almost kind of felt like it was, like it was longer almost, because it felt like time was standing still. It’s kind of like I just saw my life disappearing from my eyes, but I just couldn’t let go, it was like somebody else – like if you picture somebody else around you, holding your hands, holding you, keeping you from not letting go.
Grahm/Dave: At some point there was a statement about rage. Did you feel like you were in a rage at that point?
Chris: That’s the only way I can describe it, honestly. Like I just snapped or something. I guess my attorney had said strangulation is more of like a passionate type thing. I’m just like, I don’t know how that could be passionate.
Tammy: It’s just intimate because you’re right in there using your own hands. It’s a lot different than someone standing across the room and you shooting them or something like that.
Chris: It just felt like somebody was like behind me, just like [inaudible 01:05:00], I just couldn’t let go.
Grahm/Dave: It’s interesting to me because there were a lot of things in your life that were like that, right? Where you’re just like, maybe felt out of control or maybe felt like, “I don’t know why I couldn’t take a step back?” Like when you said when your buddy was like, “Let’s go to the football game,” you wanted to say yes, you just couldn’t.
Chris: I wanted to, and I hadn’t been to a football game since North Carolina, so I was just like, “Yeah, sure.” I wanted to say that. I wanted to just text him and be like, you know, “Babysitter fell through, can’t go.”
Grahm/Dave: Then what?
Chris: After Shanann was, once that was – once she was gone it was just like, I didn’t know what was going on and it was just like, it was like a traumatic, I don’t know what you call it, traumatic event type because everything had like – I was shaking, I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I had done. I still wasn’t in that right state of mind. Like I wasn’t in control of what I could think or what I could do at that point in time. And most people say like, why didn’t you just call 911? I was like, unless you’re in that situation, you don’t know what you would have done. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback.
Grahm/Dave: I agree with that.
Chris: And you said, if somebody shoots somebody, you don’t what’s going through their mind at that point in time. You don’t know what you’ve done.