February 22, 2011

Who is Christopher Sutton?

Posted: 12:48 PM ET

Coral Gables, FL – Christopher Sutton is John and Susan Sutton’s first child.  They adopted him at birth on April 13, 1979. 

 As the years passed, Christopher became a very troubled child.  His father, John Sutton, testified that Christopher was “very difficult to handle.” Outside of court, John told In Session that while Christopher was staying with friends, his mother found a note in his room that detailed a plan to kill his parents!  It prompted the Suttons to send their son to a controversial behavioral modification facility called Paradise Cove in Western Samoa.  Christopher was literally abducted and transported to the “school” in November, 1995 when he was 16 years old and was to be released on his 18th birthday.  However, believing that he was not properly complying with the program, the Suttons obtained a court order to keep Christopher at Paradise Cove until his 19th birthday.

After returning home to Miami in April, 1998, it’s safe to say that Christopher still did not live up to his parents’ expectations.  In exchange for either working or going to school, or in John Sutton’s words, “being productive,” both Christopher and his girlfriend Juliette Driscoll were set up in several apartments, with John Sutton paying much of the rent and bills.  The senior Sutton even hired Juliette to work as a receptionist in his law firm and bought a condo in Coconut Grove, Florida for the young couple to live in.  However, Christopher did not live up to his end of the bargain.  He enrolled in school, but did not attend, and he didn’t manage to hold down any job for very long either.  What is revealed in court testimony is that Christopher was, for the most part, a small-time drug dealer and Garrett Kopp, the man who shot John and Susan Sutton, was his primary buyer and seller.

-Jim Kyle, In Session Field Producer

Filed under: Trials

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Laura   February 22nd, 2011 1:00 pm ET

Whether it's your biological child or an adopted child, and whether you raise all your children in the same environment, they are all separate individuals and may turn out with different personalities. You can love them and guide them, but in this case I think they just got a "bad seed".

Bob Wilson   February 22nd, 2011 1:29 pm ET

No there is no such thing as a bad seed. We are not being told of everything that went on in that house. The way Mr. Sutton,jr was acting is an induviul who is seeking attention, acceptance, and love. The family did do some things together, but other then that I don't think his mother, or father cared if he even existed. They just wanted somebody who followed the rules, and got good grades.

Toby   February 22nd, 2011 1:50 pm ET

Kopp had history of being in prison be for and it was murder? So how can you trust his word at all? Where is the proof that Sutton payed or was going to pay Kopp ? Just the word of a convicted murder is not enough proof that Sutton hired Kopp to kill his family.Kopp was madd that Sutton ratted on him for drugs and worked as a under cover to get him busted.Kopp was out to get Sutton in any way he could and knew if he got caught he could take Sutton with him just by making the statement that he hired him to kill his(Suttons )family.

NYPrincessTt   February 22nd, 2011 1:53 pm ET

Laura- I agreed entirely with your take. I am the oldest of 4, the second oldest child is adopted and the rest of us are bio sibs. We were all raised in the same home with the same parents, who are still married and have never been seperated or anything like that. None of us were abused or mistreated ever by anyone in any way. To say we had anything less than an ideal childhood and loving, supportive parents would be a blatant lie. One bio son is a thieving, addicted manipulator who acts out constantly like a toddler, despite being 24 years old. The rest of us are normal people who work, pay our bills, raise our families and stay out of trouble. We never got anything more or less from our parents than the addict. It seems more like nature than nurture to me.

Diane Sower   February 22nd, 2011 1:55 pm ET

I think they really screwed up sending the kid, upon abduction, to Samoa. There could have been a saved relationship prior to that, we'll never really know. I raised a difficult teen, and it's easy to blame one or the other, but those parents really disconnected when they pulled that stunt. And then he comes home, and he's supposed to just fall in line like a good little boy? So pops GIVES him a condo, and, oh man, this case makes my head hurt. I think he's going to prison for a very very long time, and I think there may have been signs of problems when he was young. But I've been wrong many times over....

Janice Blaxton   February 22nd, 2011 2:00 pm ET

By what I have seen of this trial, everyone, especially the prosecution should look at the character of kopp and realize that he is not a good character witness nor has his past been of good reputation. I feel strongly that Kopp is bitter because he knew that he was going to get caught and that the reason for him admitting to these crimes is to help himself and carry Sutton down with him. I feel that he has things in his heart that he has not revealed and probably will never reveal. I had an unruly daughter for several years, put her in a Christian home for a short while and she was very resentful for a very long time. But she never had murder in mind even tho at times she might have thought about it. I think Kopp is doomed now and wants to see his partner in drug crime suffer because of the history of the relationship.

Janice Blaxton   February 22nd, 2011 2:03 pm ET

Kopp is the main reason for these crimes. I feel strongly that he wants to bring Sutton down because of the drug relationship between him and Sutton. He is diffently not a good character witness or someone who I would put any confidence in. The only reason for his statement is to help himself.

Joyce Clark   February 22nd, 2011 2:28 pm ET

WHY isn't his px.,way much heavier and faceial hair,LOOKING like the THIG he ie is,not as he was Groomed to look like an innocent boy.
I think he is a Thug,drug addict,drug dealer that pushed his,then weight around.I think he USED Garret.knowing that Garret was a poor young man,got his pot from chris,chris is disquesting,using his drugs,money and anything to control whoever he wanted,terriozize his "friends",his parents,and I really believe he is as GUILTY as Garret.I believe Garret told the truth and chris ran him.chris I think would use anyone to his advantage.chris is a snitch,I hope he gets what he deserves.My heart goes out to Mr.Sutton and his REAL family.God Bless you Mr.Sutton.Too bad you and Susan had to adopt a BAD SEED.

Mechele Stankiewicz   February 22nd, 2011 2:52 pm ET

I've been watching and this CRAP about the eye blinking.. give me a break.. any one would be shaken up just being on the stand.. and this body language CRAP are you kidding me.. NO ONE can tell me that yu know what Im saying or trying NOT to say by my body language.. its CRAP... I think he's NOT guilty.. I think he got tied up in the wrong kind of things.. and wrong kind of friends BUT I dont think he's guilty.. the body and eye stuff is all a BUNCH OF CRAP and totally uncalled for... even the shifting in the chair comment.. give me a break people move blink sigh all sorts one ALL people are different!!!

dorothy   February 22nd, 2011 3:23 pm ET

I don't know bout this one. The Dad seemed hard and controlling. By all means the mother did not deserve to die. Never. But I don't think the Dad gets by as the innocent father of a "bad seed" adopted child that turned on them. I hate these cautionary tales a scary adopted kids. What are the statistics of adopted kids v bio kids with trauma murdering their parents?
Did these misguided parents thoroughly check out that camp in Samoa? Or I'd they just find the toughest one and left hearing what they wanted to hear about their child's experience? a quick solution to a complex problem. It probably cost a boat load of $ which probably made the Dad feel even better about himself. Parenting is at times gut wrenching, soul shaking, and at times can turn you inside out. Especially teenagers. It is not for the faint of heart, and there are few easy answers. I'm afraid this Dad may have looked for the easy one. he checked out on his kid, and then left him there for another year so he didn't have to deal with him. the entire thing breaks my heart. Children need simple things to thrive. Love, acceptance, structure and a feeling of importance. To someone. Maybe this child/Man was missing that. Maybe his parents missed the chance to give him that.
By they way, I am an adoptive Mom.

Kathy Sustersic   February 22nd, 2011 7:37 pm ET

I think Chris Sutton acted out because he didn't feel good enough. Like
he told the police, "You won't belive me any way!" I'm not 100% sure he did this horrible crime. I think he was genuinlely hurt by being sent away. We know Garret Kopp did it. He seemed pretty cold to me. He definately had a reason to involve Chris. He probably could have gotten the death penalty.
If Chris Sutten did this horible crime it's a tradgedy. I see a bright man. What a waste!

Lori Steele   February 22nd, 2011 7:39 pm ET

I am watching the trial and am so upset watching Chris testify because the prosecutor is objecting to most questions. Most people want to hear his "story". If he is guilty or innocent, can't we just hear what he has to say?? Can she please give him the right to answer very important questions? Everybody, including his Father is interested in what he was thinking. She is objecting to almost every question. Why can't she just listen?? Lori

Robert Garcia   February 23rd, 2011 12:24 am ET

I am so tired of people blaming somebody else for ther faults. A REAL BAD SEED INDEED! Resentment, dispise, evil, and much more. How can anyone blame two caring people who adopted a "loser" full of malice and resentment? The first mistake they made was to adopt him! When the Sultons sent this "parasite" to Samoa, because they were desperated and have tried more than enough to provide and educate him. Nothing justify or explains what he did kill his adopted mother and leave his adopted father blind. No justification whatsoever. The Sultons should have send this spoiled rat to hell not to Samoa. He has blood in his hand, he has no respect or consideration for the only parents he knew and the ones who provided for him all his life. He is guilty because he is full of contempt and resentment for sending him away. The was born a "trouble kid". He is GUILTY because of this and because of all the things he had done and were not admisible in his trial. There should be a tree outside the courthouse and he should be "hang" as soon and he gets his veredict. What a waste! And now we have to support the rat in jail until he dies. The Sultons were two productive people in our society with good hearts that did something for this kid by adopting him. What good has he done in his life? Tragic....

Solomon   February 23rd, 2011 3:02 am ET

Maybe Christopher Sutton is the biological product of bad genes, or the result of pampered upbringing. Maybe he hit his head too hard on the playground when he was seven years old. Maybe, he was forced to eat all his vegetables before he could play with his Nintendo? Whatever the reason, this guy developed a sense of entitlement that he has carried into adulthood. There is no excuse for his crime You can see from the testimony that he is a bum. His type always look for an easy way to score and do not contribute to society. He should be locked up so he cannot hurt other people again.

Joan Bark   February 23rd, 2011 10:01 am ET

Christopher Sutton is not a nice person.....but his parents were woefully lacking in parenting skills. Seems that they gave Christopher mixed messages during his youth. I can't imagine sending a teenager to a place like Paradice Cove to "rehabilitate and change Christopher's attitude". Kidnapping him and sending him there without any explaination is wrong. Did the courts order that he be sent there because of his crimes? I think that if I were sent to a place like that, I'd be an angry person too. Then to find that I wouldn't be released at the legal age of 18, that would be devistating. Did he commit crimes that would have given the Semoan government the right to hold him? How is it that the Suttons were justified in contintuing the "incarceration" after he was of legal age in he US? From Christopher's birth, he was abandoned. He was adopted by the Suttons and because he was a difficult child, he was sent away. Did they not know that a jail like Paradice Cove would only breed more anger, hurt, and disrespect for authority? I'm not sure that I would have shown emotion during the trial as they showed photos of the crime scene. That's what he was taught at Semoa! Didn't his parents want him to be trained not to act on his emotions? I'm not convinced that he had his parents murdered, He did set up Kopp for the police to arrest Kopp on a drug charge so I'm not sure that he can be trusted to give true testimony, After a lifetime with the Suttons as my parents, I wouldn't be emotinally ripped apart at their deaths either. YIKES!!!
Joan Bark

Darlene Livingston   February 23rd, 2011 11:02 am ET

Was Christopher Sutton or his family ever in family therapy? If not why was the only treatment more rules, or harsher and more of the same that he was rebelling against. His parents seemed to be insensitive to his attempt to define who he wanted to be. I don't know if he did it but I can certainly understand how he was sent over the edge.

Jean   February 23rd, 2011 12:37 pm ET

Upon watching this trial, I remember many years ago a cousin was sent to some military school because he was difficult. I don't know what he did, but I did not hear of any problems with him in his later years. I think the military school worked in his case. I think it was a place in North Carolina he was sent .

NormaJean123   February 23rd, 2011 12:47 pm ET

Christopher Sutton was a troubled child who required a lot of guidance from his parents. However, I believe as a result of the parents having Christopher shanghied and taken to a tropical island reform school, without even a discussion with him about their plans to do so has served to only intensify his resentment and hatred for his parents.Their decision to obtain a court order to keep him there after his 18th birthday sealed their fate. It was at this time, I believe, that the dye was cast. From this point on, he was going to have his revenge. His testimony is a mistake. His contempt for and resentment of his parents is clearly visible. You can see his seething anger just below the surface.

L.Ann Brock   February 23rd, 2011 2:48 pm ET

I am an avid follower of the trials you cover and this Fla/Sutton case has left me feeling WHY did't the girlfriend drop a dime on this guy. She had to know the degree of resentment Chris had for the parents. Had she taken action this trial may never happened. She accepted the family relationship, yet she proved she was very shallow in my estimation. She did not respect the parents anymore than Chris did. Both of them just took, took, took. John and Susan were givers their actions speak for themselves. To me they are both evil. I would have hoped she would have enough sense to know that she could have helped prevent murder.

Kay Crawford   February 23rd, 2011 3:11 pm ET

I think two things that are compelling are:
1) the intro up top says that the mom had found a note in which he
detailed killing his parents and that is what precipitated sending
him to Samoa
2) the ONLY connection between the shooter and the victims is the
However, having said that, it appears he has covered HIS tracks extremely well

Solomon   February 23rd, 2011 3:45 pm ET

Well folks, what would you do if you found a detailed plan for your murder in your teenager's room? And, your child wrote it. Would you be able to sleep at night? The Sutton's had a reason to be very afraid. They knew what Christopher was capable of doing. An Amityville Horror Redux in the making. Recall that Christopher was forced out of several schools for reasons not mentioned in the trial. What were they supposed to do? Boot camp in Samoa seems pretty extreme but there is a lot we do not know about Christopher's past mischief.

Nick Pavelich   February 23rd, 2011 6:15 pm ET

What about his girlfriend ratting him out to the detective.Chris said she caved because she just wanted to get out of there after 16 hours of interigation.Do you think she was telling the truth or lying? I don't know what she said but it didn't sound good. Anyone know anything about her testimony?

ctera   February 23rd, 2011 9:12 pm ET

i think christopher sutton was not loved and then taken away to that place made him feel even worse and you see that when he testifies that does not mean that he killed anyone and i also think that you cannot tell what somenone is saying with body language everyone reacts differently , even though i dont think mr and mrs sutton deserved what happened to them i think that they should not have adopted any kids if they did not want to take care of them just because he gave them alot of problems they should still have loved him and tried to help him i dont think he is a bad seed he is just someone in so much pain for not being loved

Aly   February 23rd, 2011 11:48 pm ET

In growing up, it should be your parents, that if you can't trust anyone else in the world, you can trust them. We all had our times, but I'm thankful that my parents didn't want anyone else to have that responsibilty. I've always felt that way about mine too. I can't imagine anyone else raising them or putting their lives loosely for someone else to guide them. When Christophers parents had him kidnapped and sent half way across the world, he must have felt crushed and at that time felt he could never trust them for anything. I don't mean material things. You teach your kids. If you don't act like you're really concerned, who will they learn from?
Can you imagine a teenager OR anyone having to raise their hand to go to the restroom. I'm sure at first he was ill too, getting used to the water and food. How embarressing!

bij   February 24th, 2011 2:06 am ET

It amazes me how parents never want to take the advice of educated professionals when it comes to their children, They almost never give their very own children the tools needed to have any self -discipline themselves....but after they see their children fall privy to narscistic, violent behavior they after never providing them with any rules, structure or guidance, they send them to places like Paradise Cove...which makes guidance, boundaries, and tools needed to asserne self-discipline within themselves...the child blindly goes into a serene, controlled, disciplined, and structural place and is completely blindsided. If the Suttons had stuck with the rules and boundaries set down and followed thru, Christopher would have had a totally different itinerary and wouldn't have had the mindset of killing his parents. Children want to know that they are loved. Children mature and grow into acceptance of guidance and structure when they have consequences to be served. Mrs. Sutton in Chris's mind was the enemy...and he dealt with it in his own way which led to her death and the attempted murder of his dad.

Anna Murphy   February 24th, 2011 9:30 am ET

I have watched the trial since it started. I have noticed several things since Chris Sutton is on the stand. When his lawyers were asking questions he faced his lawyers and acted eager to answer. When he is being cross examined he is acting antagonistic, making faces, and acting smug. He is sitting sideways not facing the lawyer. To me this hurts him.

Ann   February 24th, 2011 9:44 am ET

"Give that cowboy some rope, and watch him weave that noose." His attorney says he has insisted from the beginning that he be allowed to testify....what a break for the prosecution!

Caroline   February 24th, 2011 10:09 am ET

Watching Christopher on the stand with the prosecution, I can say that he isn't doing himself any good. He's coming across as smug, arrogant, sarcastic and entitled. He appears to think that he's smarter than everybody else, including the prosecutor. At times, he acts as though answering questions from the prosecutor is a big bore; that he's above all this "nonsense". He's lying about almost everything.
As for blaming his parents, that's utter nonsense. They did everything they could to get help for him before sending him to Samoa. As others have noted, he had drawn up a plan to murder them before they finally sent him away. What would you do if you discovered that your very, very troubled teen was planning to murder you?

lynette r   February 24th, 2011 10:15 am ET

i cannot believe this man is sitting on the stand without any remorse for his parents, whether are not if he killed his mothter and blinded his father
it;s as though he does not care. i don't know if this is his way of showing his not guilty side are what, but this man is a very sick uncaring person

ann   February 24th, 2011 10:19 am ET

chris sutton is not facing the prosecutor or making eye contact during questioning ..signs that he has something to hide..short answers to the prosecution compared to when defense were asking the questions!!

ann   February 24th, 2011 10:48 am ET

Prosecution lawyer the older lady is too aggressive with her questions.. doesn't wait for an answer also has some dates wrong!!! (time for her to replace her research team!!) ..doesn't look good on her.. time to change to the other prosecutor?

John McTigue.   February 24th, 2011 10:58 am ET

The cross examination of Christopher Sutton is painful to watch. As pointed out by other viewers, he shows no sympathy for the shooting of his parents and by process of elimination implicates himself by not telling the homicide detectives all he knew about Kopp, including the facts that he had recently bailed out Kopp and that Kopp carried a gun. At the same time, Ms. Kahgan is all over the place with her cross and by doing so is letting Christopher off the proverbial hook. She is validating the old adage that most prosecutors don't cross examine witnesses very well.

Anastasia   February 24th, 2011 11:00 am ET

I believe Chris Sutton did arrange the hit on his parents. I also believe his parents were cold and uncaring. It does not surprise me he did this to them. It takes psychological help to resolve anger and years of being confined to a reform school, not a new condo in Coconut Grove! Chris Sutton was in trouble when he was young but once sent to that level of confinement, he never had a chance!! This was a tragedy almost destined to happen!!!

wayne duncan   February 24th, 2011 11:22 am ET

Why was the conversation between the detective and Chris Sutton NOT recorded so that it could be used for or against him in trial.....Aren't statements generally recorded. That would have eliminated this he said he said testimony.

Charles E. Compton   February 24th, 2011 11:23 am ET

In prosector's cross of Chris Sutton, she keeps asking the question: "Isn't it true that...." It could be interpreted as "Is it not true". So an answer of, no, would mean that it is true.

This technically, if recognized, could reverse the answers being accepted as correct.

Karen Doherty   February 24th, 2011 11:24 am ET

I'm watching as Christopher Sutton is being questioned on the stand right now. With his disrespectful, smug, I'm better and smarter than you and I can beat you attitude, someone needs to just go up and slap the crap out of him! The judge needs to tell him to answer the questions with a simple yes or no, since they are yes or no questions.

wayne duncan   February 24th, 2011 11:24 am ET

Ann.. I agree he is not looking at the jury. His attorney should have told him to make eye contact with the jury.

ginae   February 24th, 2011 11:24 am ET

i think he's a spoiled brat. He had everything given to him and was finally told No and that he had to start being a man. He didn't like it. I believe he did it. Just watching his expressions on the stand he looks as cold and calculated as his dad. I believe the fault lies with both of them.

Darlene Livingston   February 24th, 2011 11:34 am ET

Was the Sutton family in therapy? Was Christopher in therapy? It appears their treatment was always about breaking him and more or tougher regimentation instead of helping him find his identity. This trial seems to be based solely on subjective prejudicial opinions. The prosecution attorney is so annoying and obnoxious she is making him appear the victim. He appears to be trying to defend his dignity or manhood? Wouldn't it be rather ridiculous for a young man who has been sent to military schools to be tough, to be crying on the stand? Doesn't have any bearing on his state of mind.

Jamie K   February 24th, 2011 11:34 am ET

It is obvious that Chris is feeling very uneasy on the inside, but acting very sarcastic and cocky on the outside. At the beginning of the trial, I found myself somewhat sympathetic for what he went through. But as the trial has proceeded further, I have seen the true Chris. Cocky, defensive, and does not like obeying rules.

Meg Hollem   February 24th, 2011 11:40 am ET

Style of questions seems leading. Not asking direct questions and allowing an answer. Attorney stating a viewpoint, then saying "isn't that true" or "correct". Viewpoints are missleading or not correct,, but as a result of style of question, jury has heard an alternative. Witnesses should be asking direct questions. and allowed to answer.

Melissa A Todoroff   February 24th, 2011 11:48 am ET

I have been watching this trial and to be honest all i see is this young man claiming everyone is a liar when it seems to me just by his body language his lack of remorse, constant arguing with prosecution and constant blame that the authorities are lying shows he was involved with this with no doubt and his behavior shows just how sadistic people can be and are

Adrienne   February 24th, 2011 11:50 am ET

I am a court reporter student and I use In Session as part of my practice. I have followed the case each day. I cannot believe Chris's attitude on the stand at cross examination. He was so nice and cooperative during direct examination, BUT how the tables have turned. I think he's just showing his true colors to the jury!

Kim   February 24th, 2011 11:53 am ET

I see that Chris was his fathers son. Both have a great need for control. I think the Sutton's tried the best they knew how but this was a situation were that the entire Sutton family needed help. When a child is 18 years old and wants their independence it should be granted consequences and all. The parents were way to involved in their adult son's life. Their help actually was a hindrance in Chris's development. That said he had no right to have he's parent's killed. Boundaries were not recognized by any members of this family.

Laura Mitchell   February 24th, 2011 11:55 am ET

It is very much hurting him as far as the jury is concerned. He looks like he is about to blow. He trys to take over the questioning as when it is a yes or no question.

He even has intrupted the judge, whille the judge was telling him to answer just yes or no.

Sherrie   February 24th, 2011 11:56 am ET

I think Chris is hurting his case not helping it. Chris seems to be the type of person that tries so hard to get his points across even when the attorney hasn't asked him to do so. I find that to be the characteristics of a manipulative person. He is very calm and collected as if he practiced this behavior before going on the stand.

I don't believe his demeanor at all.


Bethany Christian   February 24th, 2011 11:58 am ET

As soon as a defendent accuses others of lying while he is telling the truth it makes me uncomfortable. I question whether he is really aware of how he sounds. This man sounds arrogant, controlling and looks smug on the stand. I don't think he is helping his case very much. Anyone with half a brain knows that there will rarely be 4 1/2 hours of an interrogation will be played during a trial. He knows that the jury will not hear the whole questioning and is acting accordingly.

Linda King   February 24th, 2011 12:01 pm ET

Just the way he sets in the chair bugs me. I think this is a spoiled rotten kid that's never grown up. He has a chip on his shoulder that needed to be knocked off, but long time ago! He has done what he wants for years. I don't know what the answer would have been when he first started showing disrespect but I would guess at a very young age.
I've noticed he gets very emotional when talking about himself and how he's been so mistreated, but when it comes to his Mother and Father all I see is attitude. He can't hide his true feelings I think it comes through loud and clear.


Dan   February 24th, 2011 12:01 pm ET

Uncle dies, he gets an inheritance, did this plant the seed that if parents die, he gets another (and bigger) inheritance?

Margaret   February 24th, 2011 12:03 pm ET

Regarding Chris Sutton and the Procecution – I believe that if I were a juror I would think Christopher is helping himself. I was seeking grandparent visitation rights and a comment I made was taken out of context in court and only part of my sentence was used which resulted in my not being able to see my grandchild without supervision (the other grandmother moved and changed phones so we could not contact for supervised visits). I can totally see how that happened to Chris, his girlfriend and the guy who shot the Suttons. Also when he cried when he was describing Paradise Cove is understandable. I have PTSD and it is as clear today as when the event(s) took place. As for him not showing emotion about his parents, he may not be dealing with that at present because those emotions may still be blocked into a "safe place" inside his head, and he may only be able to deal with it after the fact of the case is over. Lucky for the procecution that I am not a juror.

linda setters   February 24th, 2011 12:04 pm ET

any background info on his bio family?
Chris just doesn't look very upset or sad about any of this which makes me wonder. You can tell by the way he answers the prosecutors questions that he has issues with controlling himself.

Colleen   February 24th, 2011 12:04 pm ET

Abandoned by his birth parent and adopted by John and Susan who showed no parenting skills or love in my opinion to Christopher. I have one child with oppositional personality disorder and with help and lots of love he is a happily married man with a child and does well with everyone. To blame the kid for the parents lack of love and parenting skills and have him abducted and have to live a military lifestyle "my way or the highway" with no one to go to to protect him, no grandma or grandpa or auntie or uncle because he was adopted. He did find solace at a friend's home where he was not abused. I feel his parents were very abusive and also that there is no physical connection to Christopher having committed a crime. Unless things change I find him not guilty. He is a very smart guy and does have an attitude which is defensive which I think he learned living with the Suttons.

Nicki   February 24th, 2011 12:06 pm ET

I think it's so interesting how Christopher didn't remember the date of his arrest for the murder of his mother and attempted murder of his father. Usually something that important you don't forget; its like the birth of a child the date always stays with you. Also Christopher doesn't seem very serious, he's very sarcastic with the prosecution and this is hurting his case.

mela50   February 24th, 2011 12:08 pm ET

He is the type of person that feels his parents owed him.He has that poor poor me attitude. His parents gave him more than he deserved. WHAT AN UNGRATEFUL SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

irene   February 24th, 2011 12:08 pm ET

this guy is a Thug...why do we always want to blame the victims...he had what a lot of kids can only dream of yet wanted more..he tried to kill them before and plotted it...I believe he has always had a problem with authority so makes up stories about his family. we need to be responsible for our actions not make excuses..
on the stand he only brings out his lack of respect for authority.i don't like the guy..he thinks he is smarter than everyone.what a contrast in his testimony with his defense.
no matter what his parents did they did not deserve what happened....I just hope the jury sees through this guy...

Dj   February 24th, 2011 12:13 pm ET

Don't feel sorry for this bottom feeder! I live right down the street from the Sutton home and Chris Sutton is nothing more than a lying manipulative spoiled brat of a man. People like him get through life by lying and manipulating others- and yes he is most definitely guilty of the charges. Unfortunately his parents did not see with open eyes until it was too late.

Kathy Sustersic   February 24th, 2011 12:19 pm ET

I find it hard to belive that if he really intended to do this he would talk about it in front of his girlfriend. I also can't belive an attorney's son would talk to the police knowing it will be used against him. This police officer didn't even have any proof of what was said.

trialwatch   February 24th, 2011 12:29 pm ET

Mr. Sutton's testimony has focused strongly on whether or not the detective who interviewed him included all of the four plus hours of interview in the detective's testimony. Query: could Mr. Sutton relate (under oath) every question and statement, in context and with explanation, asked during that four plus hours?
I think it's very unwise for him to take the stand. I understand that the defense wants to humanize him, but that's not required in a criminal prosecution. He doesn't have to prove his innocence (or even that he's a good guy). The burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) is on the prosecution. If prosecutor fails to convince this jury (beyond a reasonable doubt) that Mr. Sutton wilfully and knowingly contracted with the shooter to execute or attempt to execute his parents, he must be acquitted. Does anyone else think that the defense may be working toward a jury nullification?

Jessica Patterson   February 24th, 2011 12:32 pm ET

I do not think that Christopher Sutton is guilty. I would have been angry at my parents too. I just think that Kopp is the whole master mind of this. I would not charge him. I would have the same attitude towards the procecution if i was in jail for 4 years and did not do anything.

Ellen   February 24th, 2011 12:44 pm ET

Just saw Vinnie Politan interview a former student from Paradise Cove in Samoa, the same facility that Christopher Sutton was place was placed in by his family. I spent a good deal of time researching emotional growth schools and wilderness programs for my son, who had behavior problems that his father and I could no longer control. The acronym "WWASPS" was one I soon learned to avoid. I have first-hand knowledge of a teenage girl who was placed in one of their boarding school in upstate New York who was isolated and sexually abused by the staff at this WWASP facility, and there have been many investigations into facilies run by this for-profit corporation. I do believe that the brutality and cruelty used against these kids could traumatize them for life, and possibly make a troubled kid into a dangerous, homicidal young adult. I can't believe WWASPS still exists in the "troubled teen" industry. Everyone knows they are hell-holes.

Clark Lynch, Veteran 1966 thru 1968   February 24th, 2011 12:50 pm ET

Whiners who won't grow up: Paradise Cove could not be worse than Basic Training which literally millions of American young men have endured and faced war and possible death while still children. I, being one of those.
I actually went to a Psychologist to try to get out of the draft when I was 18. After I saw the Dr. he called my Mother and asked her questions. My loving Mother told him the best thing that could happen to me was to have a couple years of Discipline. The Dr told me, I was hurt and sort of resented her for a while. But pretty much accepted that what I went through the next two years made me appreciate her much more for helping me toughen up. I never thought for a minute that I owed her any ill will. I also never tried to hand her guilt for her part. GROW UP!

Sandy R, Ohio   February 24th, 2011 12:59 pm ET

How could Chris Sutton be declared indigent...he was a drug dealer...where did all that money go?
Why should the tax paying public of Florida have to pay for his attorney?

Maddy   February 24th, 2011 1:04 pm ET

I agree with ann,,Chris refused to make eye contact with prosecutor in answering questions. He hasn't once taken responsibility for his actions of being a mess as a teen. He blames the investigators, saying they "made" his girlfriend lie. He can't just answer a question directly,, he runs off into details and is argumentative. Everyone in his life has been wrong to him his whole life. His body language is extremely bad!

Joan Dees   February 24th, 2011 1:18 pm ET

I think everyone is overlooking a very important facy. John and Susan Sutton are not Christopher's real parents so therefore when he began to hate them for sending him away, it was easy to plan their murders because he could just say , these are not my real parents so actually I am killing two people who really mean noting to me.

Chuck Dike   February 24th, 2011 1:19 pm ET

In the Christopher Sutton case, I think he may get off! I think the prosecution is just too irritating to take seriously. She should be doing corporate work for a lemonade stand, nothing important or earthshaking.

Kenster59   February 24th, 2011 1:33 pm ET

Too bad they couldnt fry this idiot. He doesnt deserve to live. Maybe one of our fine Florida inmates will take care of him.

cathy anderson   February 24th, 2011 1:35 pm ET

Christopher Sutton is the worse dredges of our society, he was given a chance in life as a adopted infant, his biological mother did not want him and what kind of life would he had with her? A prominent family wanting children adopted him, gave him (probably too much) much more than most families as he had a chance of making something of himself but this selfish lowlife felt he was better than his educated, caring parents, the parents sending him to Paradise Island to make him realize what he could become. He then became a "RAT" for the DEA to save his arse, Prisons love RATS so he will get his due I am sure.. What a manipulative scum bag he is and so was that girl friend.. Sick I hope he has a life sentence and see what prisoners do to rats, maybe some justice will be sentenced on him..

Laura Flaherty   February 24th, 2011 1:36 pm ET

This is on the Christopher Sutton case i know he was adopted is it possible that his birth mother did drugs are drink while she was pregnant ? I ask this question because his problems started when he was young. I know this is no excuse he knows right from wrong and he shows no remorse at all. I also think he should get life in prison and i think the shooter got off to easy.He took a life and he took MR, Suttons life as for as i am conserved this man lost his wife and now he has to have help all the time. At his age he should have been looking towards retirement down the line and he is a very active person. I wish him all the luck in the world,he is a very brave man.

MichellefromOhio   February 24th, 2011 1:40 pm ET

tough love comes much easier to some.
some of us are just parents struggling to do evrything we can to make a difference in our childrens lives.
The Suttons clearly did too much.
Now its time for MrSutton to give Chris his wish and be permanently gone from his life.

Does MySutton think he is guilty? or does he say?

dave   February 24th, 2011 1:45 pm ET

the very very sad part is if you are a person on trial and are 100 percent innocent it is a true uphill battle to prove it which is an outrage when you compare it to a person like this who by attitude alone shows guilt but in so many cases as long as you put that doubt in there you wont be convicted even though your guilty all because you may have had a better lawyer then the prosecutor was [oj] even in non murder cases it seems the law benefits the criminals and the punishments are not near harsh enough causing even more crime because they know what they will get and are not scared
plus why doesnt the judge inform the jury that just because especially in this case where the defense just kept trying to go where he knew he couldnt but would get the prosecution to react that the objections dont mean anything they need to take into consideration which in this case where the defense caused so many on purpose they might

trialwatch   February 24th, 2011 1:51 pm ET

It bothers me that defense is spending so much time trying to prove motive. Motive is purely circumstantial. It can't prove that an action took place. I'm really concerned that a person could lose his or her liberty based on circumstantial evidence. No, I wouldn't give him a key to my house. Nor would I socialize with him. Incarcerate him based on circumstantial evidence? I don't believe that's what our justice system is about. Our freedom to move about is too important to be abridged by innuendo and supposition. I don't think State has proven its case. Otherwise they wouldn't have to test the motive theory, especially by bringing a rebuttal witness to bolster their motive theory.

trialwatch   February 24th, 2011 1:57 pm ET

Sorry, I meant that it bothers me that prosecution is so much time trying to prove motive.

Kathy Sustersic   February 24th, 2011 2:12 pm ET

You say Garrett Kopp had no other motive. What was his motive? Chris Sutton didn't have any money. Garret Kopp, the hit man that works on commission. Pretty lame!

Joanne   February 24th, 2011 2:26 pm ET

I think Christopher is guilty of this crime....he indicates that everyone is lying except him. When he was questioned the day of the shooting, he told the detective that he was at dinner, then a movie and gave them the movie ticket stub? Okay, sounds to me that he was establishing an alibi....why would he need an alibi if he had nothing to do with the shootings? Why would he think anything happened to his parents when he couldn't reach them by phone? I dont know, between his attitude on the stand while being questioned by the prosecutor, and his answers to the questions.....I think this guy definitely had a hit on his parents. I know that it's been a few years since the shooting, but he shows absolutely no emotion when talking about his mother's fact, when questioned by the prosecutor, he seems to be "biting his tongue" to keep calm and cool.
And yes, his parents may not have been the "ideal" parents, but does that mean that they deserved to be killed? In my opinion, this man is not innocent.

Maddy   February 24th, 2011 2:29 pm ET

Absolutely Nothing was taken from that house when the shooting occured.
And there was jewelery,, money, etc out in plain site. You don't just kill two people, unless you plan on stealing ,, or you have been paid to kill them.
Doesn't matter if Chris was adopted, the Sutton's adopted him when he was just days old. There is NO excuse,, none for killing your parents, or hiring them killed. This guy basically had the state pay for his defense, because he says he is indigent? He admitted to dealing drugs, using drugs.

Steve T   February 24th, 2011 2:39 pm ET

I think that it looks bad on the prosecution that the dark haired lady does not seem to have her case together. When I first turned this on a week ago I thought "oh he did it" but know I am having doubts. The prosecution needs to lay off the caffeine, she looks unstable up there.

MsDbMe   February 24th, 2011 2:52 pm ET

The prosecutor is not helping her case being so hostile to the defendant. She is coming across as trying to bait him with snippets and sound bites from a 4 hour interrogation by the detectives. He made a great point when he said that Det. Beaulieu only read 5 minutes of a 4 hour conversation. Chris might be an arrogant spoiled brat, but if there's not evidence, manufacturing some isn't going to help. He may have been friends with the shooter, but what if Kolb decided on his own to "help" his friend, thinking he'd get a pay off later? I don't like Chris, but he's a lot more sympathetic to me today after the prosecutor's attempt at baiting him.

MsDbMe   February 24th, 2011 2:54 pm ET

I meant Kopp, not Kolb

pat weaver   February 24th, 2011 2:59 pm ET

if chris and kopp were not good friends just dope buddies why was there over 400 calls between them

Deb   February 24th, 2011 3:03 pm ET

I have noticed his lips and mouth are incongruent with his answers. He has a deceptive smile when asked directly about any involvement or feelings. He has a long history of antisocial behavior.

Shari   February 24th, 2011 3:29 pm ET

I have to comment that I believe this guy will walk for the following reasons;
First was it not disclosed by Chris that he had "cut-off" Kopp from drugs? Was it also stated by Chris he wanted nothing to do with his parents when he was of age?
Second it has been said his "lack of emotion" when there was talk about his mother. The father stated when he was not at home Chris and his mother clashed like oil and vineager, so for him to not have emotion over his mother, who he seems to have had some serious relationship issues, is not unusual.
As a parent, even finding what they found Chris had wrote at age 16, it seems to me these two parents need parenting classes! Wow! Having your child kidnapped and tramatized for years-wait a minute, what was really going on in this house? This kid was screaming for love not more torture and I think he should have sued his parents and Paradise Cove for the trama. These were not realistic parents! Curfew of 5:00 PM for an adult who does not want to live with you anyway?
It was disclosed that John Sutton paid for the condo for Chris to stay in as him and his wife felt he was "not doing what they felt he should be" than why are you constantly trying to CONTROL him with your money and power? The man was an adult and he should not have had mom and dad paying for his housing.
Kopp's cell mate was a good move to have-you can't convict him for no evidence, no motive and kopp's cell mate just sealed the doubt! People in prison ALWAYS talk and for Kopp to not say he was "hired" that is a huge piece of doubt.
As far as his testifing, I think he is very believable and people forget how they would react if they were "falsely" accused-you would be mad as hell at the procecution. I know I would. Just my thoughts I think he'll walk.

Carrie   February 24th, 2011 3:30 pm ET

What ever happen to innocent untill proven guilty?

shequita   February 24th, 2011 3:48 pm ET

why is such a place (somoa) is still operating if these things really happened to him and other young men? this is very said! i pray that the all will seek forgiveness in their heart.

Steve T   February 24th, 2011 3:59 pm ET

Well...I dont think that the prosecution did a good job at all with Chris S. and should have done a better job with the direct..People please keep in mind that I havent watched the whole trial..but I would have trouble being on the jury and not have doubts.

Sandy G   February 24th, 2011 4:36 pm ET

Regardless of Chris Sutton's attitude I feel that the extreme coercion and interrogation of the witnesses , and the constant objections to the full context of those interrogations brings up doubt in my mind (which would definately be a factor if I were a jury member) So many stories, lies, truths, deviations, ....what is true...what was cooerced, what was said to simply end the interrogation! THAT is a factor.And Kopp..he is How credible is he?
Also FAMILY DYNAMICS ARE COMPLICATED even in the most "normal" looking families. Who knows what was really going on all those years. I think that truthfully the wole family had issues. Yes..even John Sutton. I am sorry..he may be wonderful...but I doubt that he is or has been all sunshine and lollipops. I think he could be mean. See...what IS the truth?
Also Chris's attitude in the court? Well he has been sitting in a cell for years waiting...

ann marie   February 24th, 2011 5:43 pm ET

everything with chris sutton is poor me... look at what my parents done to me... alot of emotion. Everyone is a liar but me... I did not see one bit of emotion when asked about his mother's murder, or the bullet that caused his father's blindness...I hope the jury sees this

Laura   February 24th, 2011 6:00 pm ET

Did anyone else notice that the only time when Sutton cried on the stand was when he was talking about how he had all his affluent privileges taken away from him at Paradise Cove by having to dress a certain way and being required to ask for permission to do anything?

Michaela Johnson   February 24th, 2011 6:06 pm ET

I feel that something that the whole court has missed while Christopher Sutton was testifying is that he said he hid 2 pounds of marijuana in the spare bedroom (where his mother was murdered) in a cardboard box in the closet. He also said that that was Garrett Kopp's motive of killing his parents. That is a lie, There is 36 oz in. 2 pounds, It would be difficult to hide 2 oz. of marijuana in a room where his mother is sleeping with out her smelling it, let alone 2 POUNDS!!! There is NO possible way that his mother WOULDNT have know that it was there, which means that she would have found it took it out and it wouldnt have been there when Garrett Kopp murdered them. Im sure you all know how potent the smell of marijuana is, Can you imagine 2 pounds hidden in your bedroom in a cardboard box and not knowing it was there? NOT POSSIBLE! With all that said, That ruins the whole motive that Christopher Sutton made up as the reason Garrett Kopp killed his parents, which would leave only one reason for Garrett Kopp to kill them MONEY! and who could get that money? Christopher Sutton!!! He did it, There is no other way!

Dave   February 24th, 2011 6:29 pm ET

This kid got too much of what he wanted too early. The parents wanted children so badly that they probably spoiled him as a young boy. When he got older, he thought everything should be his way - then he was totally out of control. While I think he is guilty, I would have a hard time convicting him because of this annoying prosecutor. The lead prosecutor is the most annoying that I have seen in 21 years of watching trials on In Session and Court TV. Her constant objecting is making me tired of the sound of her voice. She would have tired me out very quickly had I been on this jury, and I would have wanted her to lose.....

Laura Anderson   February 24th, 2011 7:25 pm ET

Being adopted should not even be the issue here. I was adopted at 4 weeks, raised by my parents, I turned out to be a responsible, respected adult. My birth child, however, turned out to be an alcoholic. So, it is the 'nature' of the child, not the 'nuture,' in my experience. Christopher Sutton is one of many 'adult' children who just believe they are entitled to more than they have received. They also don't get the word: Gratitude.

Nikki T.   February 24th, 2011 10:57 pm ET

I went into this case with an open mind, listening to both sides. Once Chris got up on the stand, he made my mind up for me. He is self serving, arrogant, obnoxious, self indulgant, combative, egotistical and I could go on and on. He clearly had no respect for the prosecutor, he wouldn't even look at her. He cried at the wrong part, only when it came to HIM during the Samoa time, never shed a tear for his Mother or Father. All he cared about was getting money, no matter at whose cost it was. He is truly an ugly person from the inside. I got so aggravated with watching him on the stand, imagine dealing with him all day, every day?? No wonder he was sent to Samoa, I don't blame his parents one bit. Now they suffer the ultimate consequence, at his brutal hands. He hates following rules, I hope he's found guilty and will have to follow rules for a lifetime! He can blame only himself, no one else (although he's Mr. Perfect and does no wrong, everyone else is wrong, including the cops who lied during testimony....yeah, right!) Enjoy prison and here's your favorite word....RULES!! IMHO....

Aly   February 24th, 2011 11:33 pm ET

I agree with Dorothy, the one that has an adopted child 100%. People like to take an out, putting the blame on an adopted child. I think the statistics are higher with bio children killing their parents then adopted ones. Also statistics are pretty high with bio parents mudering their children.
What makes a difference is your child, adopted or bio, being your very first responsibility. It seems that they don't want that responsibility having making that decission, so it's just total neglect or get rid of them one way or another. It seems here he was either at boarding schools or just as far away as they could send him, so they wouldn't be responsible. Even cleared out his room as though they never expected him to come back home.

trialwatch   February 24th, 2011 11:34 pm ET

I am not saying that Mr. and Mrs. Sutton should have been killed, because this is not the way to fix a problem. I believe they could have found another way or at least a boot camp closer to home to try to get Chris some help. They sent him half away around the world and through a jungle. He had no running water, not hot water at all in the 3 years plus that he was there and had to sleep on the floor with one blanket. The food was not very good or healthy. He was hog tied, beat, put in cages. The staff watched as you went to the bathroom, if you could even call it a bathroom at that place. I had also heard that possibly there was rape going on at this facility. I believe the Suttons did not have any parental skills and just threw there hands up in the air and found this terrible place for about $34,000. per year and felt like they were making a big deal paying all this money to society and probably was a tax deduction and they could get Chris out of their hair. There son was over there in unhumane surroundings which I believe and you know it would be here, CHILD ABUSE. . This went on for these three years plus and probably instead of helping Chris, it traumatized him even more. Now this Juliet, why wasn't she locked up. She gave all this information and kept putting her head down, so half of it proberly was not true. She was with Chris for 6 years, why didn't she say something to the Sutton's. She was enjoying the money also. Then when Chris gets locked up, she drops him. Kopp was mad at Chris for knowingly
sending him to an informant. He never did get over that. Again, I am sorry that Susan Sutton got murdered and John got shot, but I can see some arrogance in him also. Chris may never get over the trip to Paradise Cove unless he gets a lot of counseling. I am glad that now the horrible place is closed due to complaints of abuse and a lawsuit is ongoing at this time.

Dakotasky spy   February 25th, 2011 9:31 am ET

Do you think the prosecution should have questioned Chris Sutton on how they obtained the two handguns of which one was used in the shootings? I think this was damaging testimony.

Plain Clothes Hero   February 25th, 2011 9:49 am ET

For all of you who are blaming the parents for sending him away....did you fail to read the part that his mother had found a note that included detailed plans on HOW TO MURDER THEM?!? That is outrageous. This guy deserves to go to jail. He deserved to be punished for that note and the evil plans he had.

Jan   February 25th, 2011 10:22 am ET

I personally cannot wait until this trial is finished's hard for me to look at Chris Sutton....his smug appearance, lack of compassion, and "the world owes me something" attitude. I only wish John would have left that creep on the island his entire life. Lucky for Chris I'm not on the jury....I detest him. My best goes out to John and his family.

Breda Smyth   February 25th, 2011 10:56 am ET

Chris Sutton has never told the truth in his life On the stand he said his father used to say "Its my way or the highway" he Christopher took the highway What bull Christopher always took the my way attitude and he intentionally sent his mother on the highway to heaven and tried to do the same with his father!! He is an evil human being and by default I would believe Garret Kopp I wish.his father and sister peace in their future life

Breda Smyth

Lilly Vines   February 25th, 2011 11:08 am ET

I think that Chris Sutton is guilty of killing his mother and attempted to kill his father. i dont know if he actually pulled the trigger but he is guilty in one way or the other .Its sad that i have to say that but i watched the trial and he looked like he had or has an attitude . He showed no emotion no remorse no feeling of sadness i mean heres a young man whos parents one mamed and the other killed to sit in court with that attitude.I mean he is not the victim ....HELLO.

jackie   February 25th, 2011 12:34 pm ET

Not guilty. The main evidence is Mr. Kopp who is a proven liar. 99.9% of criminals facing a murder charge & life in prison would try & figure a way out. He was handed not only a deal but a sweetheart deal. My question to the investigators is why they didn't try & set up a recorded sting of some sort to get Sutton to incriminate himself? Obviously Kopp would have done it to save himself. Of course the way it turned out he didn't even have to lift a finger just sign a confession that Chris Suttton was at fault.
God less Mr. Sutton & his family.

Anthony Peterson   February 25th, 2011 12:41 pm ET

I didnt c the entire trial, but i'm leaning towards not guilty. Curious to know 2 things: 1. Was a lie detector administered to defendant and witness against him b4 the trial? 2. What did witness say about content of conversation b4 and after killings w/ defendant and can it be corroberated and make sense in the nature of their purported relationship?

The outcome of these answers could sway my judgement definitively.

Chris   February 25th, 2011 1:19 pm ET

Not sure. Lie detector tests aren't allowed to be used in court since they aren't always 100% correct. I don't really understand your second question... Which witness?

Dave   February 25th, 2011 1:24 pm ET

Christopher Sutton appears to me to be guilty of Attempted Murder. As to conspiracy, I think that one is a stretch. It is obvious to me that he is a vindictive, hateful, smug person. He has many faces of body language that show me that he not completely truthful. On the other hand I cannot accept fully the words of a convicted felon. His father came across as a controlling person but that may be just his way. Everyone raises their children differently and who's to say what way is correct. This world is so lacking discipline even schools have no control of students in the classroom. If I were on this jury he would be guilty of attempted murder in the second degree..

Justine   February 25th, 2011 1:29 pm ET

It's so obvious that Defendant resented and really dislikes his parents and is a spoiled brat. When his year's "contract" was up with his parents after Samoa.... he should have moved away and got a job and got on with his life – but that's not the kind of person he is. He is a "moocher" always looking for a handout from his parent, that's why he didn't join in the class action prosecution after Samoa because he knew if he did, his parents would not have given him another dime, and he didn't want to risk that in a case he might lose. Why kill the golden goose? I believe he's guilty 100% and that Kopp as a kid of 15 was definitely influenced by the defendant and would have done anything that he said to do, whether it was to get drugs or money, it definitely was defendant's plan to kill his parents so he wouldn't have to ask them for money anymore... half of all their wealth would be his. If he doesn't get convicted, I'll take the lesser joy in knowing that from the date of his non-conviction, he will never get another penny from his father or any other relative... and he will finally have to take care of himself (the big, rotten baby that he is)... and work the all the rest of us until he's a senior or maybe succeeds in something where he could retire early – but I seriously doubt that... I don't think he's too bright!

MJB   February 25th, 2011 1:32 pm ET

Chris has certainly been a very troubled kid from the beginning. I know for sure if my kid had written a note wanting to kill me and my husband, and with chris's past I would lend hinm somewhere. Chris also states the police lied, Kopp lied and his girlfriend lied. Chris on the stand a few times when questiond by the prosecution turned bright red. Also, Chris seen laughing many times in court. Would most people be doing that if being charged for murder. Don't think so. IChris interacting with his father in his office and the witnesses stating he was demeaning to his father. Chris taking care of his father after the accident possibly was just a way for another cover up. And witnesses have stated he did not do a very well job of that either.
If this guy is found guilty then he needs to pay. If innocent then on his way. But, seeing his persoanality and demeaner and all the witnesses statements I sure wouldn't want to have anything to do with him.

Maureen   February 25th, 2011 1:53 pm ET

Because Susan (defendents mother) covered her face before she was shot–I just wonder if she thought that the shooter was HER son!
What a last thought before you die !!!!

Anna Marie   February 25th, 2011 2:43 pm ET

I feel that Garret knowing exactly what door to go through was evidence that he got that info from Christopher.He didn't go in to rob them,but to kill them.I would say that did it for me.It took away all doubt!

GeorgieAnn Campbell   February 25th, 2011 2:44 pm ET

I Beleive the shooter.....I had a Brother that was a lot like Sutton...He Is Dead now from a Heart Attack....If people don't start waking up to these kind of thugs In The U.S.A......Then we need what Is Comming to us....Wake Up America

Lou   February 25th, 2011 2:48 pm ET

As Carrie stated earlier, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? From watching this there hasn't been any real evidence offered
for guilt. A case can't be judged fairly on "emotions"or "body language". EVERYONE handles things that happen to them differently. Look at the difference in the lawyers-prosecution very emotional, defense very calm. Kopp made a deal so how truthful can his testimony be. I haven't seen any proof of guilt. For the question of the day-Who do you believe Kopp or Sutton?- certainly not Kopp.

Glenda Westbrook   February 25th, 2011 3:23 pm ET

The other guy that said Christopher ask him about someone for hire to kill his parents backs up Kopp's story.

Have you ask a psycologist about the theory of genetics vs. environment in a person personality? This case would make for an interesting discussion.

Name*desertman1947   February 25th, 2011 4:24 pm ET

I certainly do not like christopher sutton he said sure but on the evidence that has been put on by the bobble head prosecutor there is no way I can see he can be found guilty on the evidence presented by the bobble head prosecutor. the despicable performance of the prosecutor should certainly give plenty of reasons for a missed trial

Mary   February 25th, 2011 4:28 pm ET

Let me first say, I commend the prosecution team is doing their best big time.
I am sorry that the Mother had to die and the Father is blind but I feel that they are just as guilty as Chris is. They were to over controlling . I mean still paying rent and then buying a condo so he could have a place to live. My Lord he was a grown man. Let his lazy butt get out there and work for a living.
They failed with him and I do believe they were in denial for failing. When he got out at 19 he should have just gone out on his own. That is not love that is control freaks.
As a parent if my child was in need and I saw that he was really trying then yes I would help him. But I would not keep giving a lazy fat butt money to live on. I feel they asked for what he did. They should have giving their money to charity or better yet throw it in the fireplace and burn it. He did not appreciate what they did for him. He proved that by getting someone to kill them. It is sad that the punishment that the mother had to die and the father is blind . I do believe that Chris should receive as much a punishment as he caused to his parents.
Chris is just a fat lazy bum that has no feelings and that is mentally ill.To carry that much hate in your heart against people that are pampering you the way they did.
I mean he should have been the one buying the condo instead of the parents buying so he could have a place to stay. That is what I called to much money and not knowing what to do with.
They spent all that money and still he did not love them. The way he sat on that stand you can tell he did not love them. He even stated all he wanted to do was get away from them he wanted nothing to do with them. But, he did not leave and stay gone that is because he was greedy and lazy.
I believe as I said before they were all at fault. But, the mother did not deserve to die nor did the father deserve to become blind nor did a kid deserve to be over controlled.
The simple minded person he got to do this crime is just that simple minded. He and Chris both need to die for their crime. Why should the taxpayers keep them alive and pay to take care of them. Fat butt Chris will enjoy that after all that is what he is use too.

Jim 'n Del   February 25th, 2011 5:42 pm ET

After reading every post above, I'm surprised that no one has commented
on the point that if the parents were very controlling, how could the daughter have turned out to be the successful person that she is, holding a responsible career position, according to her testamony today. Again, people, don't blame the victims! Chris will get his "just due" in prison, and he can smile all he wants!

Louisa   February 25th, 2011 11:51 pm ET

I have been watching this trial on TruTV. I have two questions that someone may be able to answer for me. Where was Melissa the night of the birthday dinner, when her parents were shot. Where was she when John came home from the hospital and went to his son's condo? Did John's law partner testify at the trial?

Willow   February 26th, 2011 12:08 pm ET

Who were his bio parents? and what was their criminal history? was bio mom on drugs or alcool? was bio dad a sociopath?
Would researching this real history put a damper on adoption?

Kathy Sustersic   February 26th, 2011 4:34 pm ET

Of all the things John Sutton did to try and help his son, I didn't hear any thing about drug rehab, which he clearly needed. I also dont know
why one of them didn't just walk away. If john thought he was in danger he should have said your an adult, I've done everything I can to
raise you, time to go. Chris should have said, I'm an adult, help me get on my feet and I'm gone. It just shouldn't have come to this. I'm not judging guilt or innocence. I never saw the whole trial and frankly I'm not sure!

Solomon   February 26th, 2011 10:27 pm ET

Christopher, your testimony has sealed your fate. You will be found guilty now because you squandered your time on the stand. Your lawyer should have guided your testimony better. You could have reached out to your dad and admitted being a bad son, asked forgiveness, and said how his injuries and your mother's death haunts you. If you are truly innocent and being implicated in a robbery gone bad performed by somebody else who holds a grudge against you; this might have helped your case. Instead, you showed your true colors. Game over. Good luck in prison where you will probably find another daddy.

Shirley Dickens   February 26th, 2011 11:00 pm ET

I still cannot decide on guilty or not, personally, but could not find him guilty in a court of law. i just don't think a case has been proven . without a doubt. i agree that he is a rude hateful man but that is not a crime. someone needs to come up with a few more facts.

Anne   February 27th, 2011 3:36 pm ET

The adopters sound like very cold, unloving and unfit people who should never have been allowed to adopt.

They shipped this kid off as if an object to be discarded, then it seems they tried to pay him off. One wonders if he was abused all his life by these people.

This is not a bad seed, babies are not born bad, the adopters raised him and this is 100% THEIR fault.

Kelly   February 27th, 2011 7:07 pm ET

If I found a note in my kids room with details of my death I would confront my child. There was obviously something wrong with the parent child relationship. I am all for Military School or Behavioral Camp so they say but you sure dont get thru to your child by abducting them and shipping them off with no warning. I am sure this "son" had something if not everything to do with this. This man has lots of aggression inside and animosity towards his parents.

Aly   February 27th, 2011 8:22 pm ET

I don't believe John or Susan found a letter saying that Christopher wanted to kill them. I also don't believe John Sutton even cares a thing about posting here. Anyone can say they are John Sutton. I believe there's a lot more to this story than we have or will ever hear. If you are an arrogant, couldn't care less person you will pass this on to your child. Also someone on here said that the prosecuter got Christopher to say he was pissed. He didn't just say that to her, if you heard his attorney, he also told him he was pissed. I really wonder from the time the Suttons chose to adopt Christopher, how many of those years did they really have him and raise him. Not many!

Rebecca kohler   February 28th, 2011 12:14 pm ET

I personnaly love the prosecuter in the Sutton case. She was quick and new her questions well. She did not stop every 2 minutes to look at her notes. If I were a juror in this case she would have held my attension the hold time she spoke. Now on the other hand the defence attorney would and did put me to sleep many times. He was so slow and so mondain. I felt like he was just bideing his time to get paid.....

Brenda   February 28th, 2011 12:14 pm ET

were is christopher suttons biological parents?

Anita   February 28th, 2011 12:34 pm ET

Check on Chis Sutton's natural parents and you will find out this is genatic.

martha   February 28th, 2011 12:39 pm ET

from being an adopted child myself, it is important to remember that an adoptive child is not concerned or craving for a rich life but love within the family including acceptance as really the parents "own". i did not hear that the Suttons raised him without the word "money". it is interesting to me that people always tend to praise the ones that adopt and not see an overall picture.
adoptive kids are grateful for their adoptions but are looking for homes that accept them as their own not just pay them with money to obtain their love.
these things are missing from this case: the way chistopher sutton was treated personally from the mother and the father. alll i ever kept hearing is how much the parents payed for him. not what they did emotionally for him
also chis after all that happened which in my opinion was a nightmare he still chose to stay close to his parents afterwards. this is not the behavior of a killer.

Steve T   February 28th, 2011 2:01 pm ET

I agree with Chuck D.. the prosecution did a horrible job in proving their case. I could have did a better job, the taxpayers of Florida need to get new prosecutors instead of paying hundreds of thousands to them.

Steve T   February 28th, 2011 2:55 pm ET

NOT GUILTY...I think there were too many holes in the case..this does not mean Chris S is a good person..just means I have doubts

Ivaleen Seward   February 28th, 2011 5:58 pm ET

Caught like an animal, secured and tied down and without any explanation flown by strangers to a Jungle. I am sure he was totally terrified and thought he would die. I think he has lingering trauma
much like a POW. I don't think his father comes across as a gentle
patient person. It seems he wasn't given a chance to grow into a personality of his own and/or know his capabilities without his parents always bailing him out or constantly getting him out of their way.
I think the prosector is much too aggressive and baiting and elicits his anger intentionally. I don't go along with the body language thing.
I have know many people who have suffered great trauma and simply have no reaction to any stress or grief presented. Maybe a defense
Don't think there is enough real evidence for a guilty verdict.
The age old debate – environment vs. heredity.

nita   February 28th, 2011 6:29 pm ET

I just loved the "objecting" prosecutor. She was listening carefully to the testimony and just doing her job in a competent manner. She was doing what she was suppose to do when trying a case. I found her comments helped to keep me alert and to think about the evidence being presented.

If I were a victim of a crime, I would love having someone with her tenacity, brillant knowledge of the law, and accurate recall of details representing me. She has style...very theatrical,and that is part of good lawyering.

MARY   February 28th, 2011 9:55 pm ET

Walk in the shoes of the Dad and then give your advice on how to raise a child. I think the son hired Kopp to do his dirty work. He never had enough, he wanted it all with no strings. No drug dealer would leave 2lbs of pot in his parents house, no way he would sell it or use it , he would not just leave it there. Kopp didn't have the pot or money from some big sale. Chris Sutton lies, he said he never told his girlfriend that he could kill his parents for money so why would she say he did?? Police pressure?? Don't think so. Make something up about the man you love just so you can leave the police station? She worked for a law office I'm sure she knew a little about her rights and how the process works. I'm sure if anything she knew what she said could be used in a case against her loving boyfriend. He did it!!

beth from Gaylord   February 28th, 2011 11:23 pm ET

To me this case wasn't proven-the guy who did do it said whatever to avoid the needle-why can't others see this....

Pamela Yurko   February 28th, 2011 11:44 pm ET

I am so tired of hearing about Lohan, she need's to get the same punishment that any non-famous person would receive. Addiction or not, she's had more chances to improve her behavior, but has chose her own course. Many prisons are filled with people having a back ground of addiction. Why should she be the exception?

Dee   March 1st, 2011 10:51 am ET

I am so tired of hearing about how bad the perps had life. This guy was adopted by a loving family and they tried to raise him to be a useful citizen – BUT – he started acting out in school getting himself suspended or kicked out – caused major damage to one of his teacher's home. Was a bully and abused other kids in school and you dingdongs think he had it bad??? Samoa was too good for him. He has been nothing but a sponge all his life and never had to work for anything. If his parents were so bad, they would have cut him off a long time ago. He deserves everything he's going to get!!!

Denise   March 1st, 2011 12:51 pm ET

My heart goes out to both sides. I see a child who was raised and loved as their own, until he grew to have his own identity as most teens do. One day we/ the parents are God to them, the next we don't know what the hell we are talking about! I myself was raised in a very strict controlling envirinment, I lived under the rule of "children may be seen, but NEVER heard"! I was never granted my own opinion. If given, I was immediately struck down and punished for it. This is how I believe the Sutton's raised their son. As for Mrs. Sutton, God bless her, but she had to be the one who took most of the abuse, not only for herself, for for perhaps protecting her children as my own mother did for me. I can recall countless times saying I hate them, I wish they were dead, for that would have been the easiest way out of the situation... What child has never said that? I as others believe he is innocent and the one guilty of this horendous crime is right where he needs to be..but for life and not 30 years for making up some story to appease the prosecution team to give him a lighter sentence.
God Bless them all...
The journey is far from over.

Dee   March 1st, 2011 1:33 pm ET

Denise, it wasn't him having his own identity. It was all the trouble he was getting into. Trashing a teacher's house is not an identity thing, it's an out of control – you can't stop me and I'll do anthing I want to do to whomever I want to thing. He wasn't going to listen to anyone. They tried counseling and that didn't work. He is just a sociopath who wants what he wants when he wants it and who cares who gets hurt. Life in prison is just what he needs.

AubeO   March 1st, 2011 2:50 pm ET

Hard to believe someone could grow up with so much advantage, to do NOTHING with it in terms of self-development, and to want MORE - to want MORE to the extent of hiring someone to kill his adoptive parents so he could have it.

Glad the judge decided he should never be out of prison again. I'm sure we'll be reading about his bad behavior THERE too, unless there is a God, and we're rather, fortunate enough never to hear about him again.

susie   March 1st, 2011 2:55 pm ET

4 sibs in my family. 3 bio 1 adopted. Adopted sister is a complete nut case. Lies, steals, she hurts people. My parents were not rich, she still has a sense of intitlement. ("when they died I want the house, I want the car, I want all their money now") After all, she was picked, she thinks that makes her special. Finally meet her bio mother and bio sibs. Surprise, surprise, she is just like her bio sisters and mother. Nasty people that the rest of us want nothing to do with. This is why I will never adopt. Yes, I'm sure there are some really great adopted kids out there but why take that kind of chance. It is ALL nature NOT nurture. Did anyone ever search for this guys bio mother and father. Wanna bet he meets his Daddy in prison on death row.. For those of you say "poor kid, all he needed was love". Didn't see his adopted sister involved it this, did you.

Aly   March 2nd, 2011 12:56 am ET

I don't think he ever knew his identity.Did anyone see any growing up pictures of him. There is no such thing as a baby being born a bad seed. Even when he returned "home" they said he couldn't date? With the parents it's was all total control. I believe John Sutton is his real Dad and wonder if he's ever had a DNA test. It may not be John Sutton, but someone in his family. I wonder if they went about the right way of adopting him. I knew a family similar to the same thing and that's exactly how it was. And because he was a lawyer, he went around it without going through the system. Also, did the prosecuter say in opening statement that John and Susan were in the same room in bed but different beds asleep. How did Johm describe what he saw?

Aly   March 2nd, 2011 1:14 am ET

Also, didn't Christopher's lawyer ask Kopp if his deal for testifying, he could walk free or get 30 years. Does that mean that since Chrisopher got life in prison without parole, charged with all counts, Kopp walks now are does half of 10 years, since his been in prison for half of that?I know 30 years DOES NOT mean 30 years. He got a hell of a deal and admitted he was the one that killed Susan and intended to kill John? This is justice? Really?

Ken   March 2nd, 2011 4:38 pm ET

How can someone sit through testimony detailing how their mother was brutally murdered and not shed one tear? Give me a break people! Sutton was a heartless murderer hellbent on getting his parents money. He would have inherited it someday but just couldn't wait. He thought he was smarter than the police as a lot of people do but in the end an excellent investigation and prosecution put him away for life with no possibility of parole. He should have gotten over his 29 months in Samoa and moved on with his life. Now he has forever to sit and think about what a stupid, selfish decision he made.

Louise   March 28th, 2011 11:35 am ET

Hi Ryan,

I am writing to you about the Casey Anthony trial. I like all of you very much and watch your show almost every day.

I like when you have Sunny on the show but, I have to disagree with her on this case. If Casey is convicted I truly believe she should get the death penalty.

I believe that we are not God and should not say who lives or dies however, this is a baby that we are talking about she didn't even have a chance to live her life so why should Casey live the rest of hers.

I also look at this with the people of Florida already having to pay for he defense why should we pay for her to serve the rest of her life in prison.

Thank you,


Keith Bocock   April 8th, 2011 12:44 pm ET

I just think it's unfortuneate that the prosecution had to offer
Garrett Kopp a plea deal.
He was the actual killer of Susn Sutton and would-be killer of John
Sutton, not Chris Sutton.
Yes,I think Chris is guilty of conspiricy to commit murder, but since
he didn't carry out the attacks himsef,he should get the sentence
that Kopp got.
Didn't Garrett Kopp have a mind of his own?
I don't believe he was coersed.


Giddalti   July 16th, 2011 11:48 pm ET

The Samoan "facility" sounds WAY weird to me. Is that any way to tell a child that you unconditionally love him? The strongest evidence presented in this case is that money and affluence can't buy a loving, happy family.

Katie   November 13th, 2011 10:18 am ET

Someone who was at the trial observed the father being "blind" when the TV cameras were on but not so "blind" when he knew he wasn't being watched; Also, that Christopher's father is VERY influential in the legal circles, and has a lot of people (others in the system) scared to go against him; that the Samoa facility was sued for abuse by many boys who were sent there but Christopher didn't because his dad was the attorney for the facility; that his dad was never supportive of anything Christopher wanted to do - only what the father wanted him to do; that the father choose to wait under after the trial to have the surgery to repair his disfigured eye.

He sounds like the type of father that has always made his money work for him to get him whatever he wanted, even if that meant keeping his son in Samoa until he was 19 and telling Chris that he would be able to come home when Mr. Sutton decided he could!

Things aren't always what they seem, and justice sometimes CAN be bought!

MiamiBoy79   February 16th, 2012 9:37 pm ET

I knew Chris as a kid and sadly the facts are only slightly skewed. Growing up he wasn't a bad kid by any stretch of the imagination. He was slightly spoiled and tended to complain when he didnt get what he wanted (normal kid.) I met his parents several times and always thought they seemed pretty cold. Pretty much typical miami proffesionals (too busy for their own kid.) I remember Chris being a fairly upbeat and happy kid until his parents dumped him in Samoa. I remember when he came back and I went and saw him. The guy was a total 180. He had a wild look in his eye that reminded me of the way Jack Nicholson looked when he chopped down the door in the shining. I remember him having a nice apartment and thinking that his parents were doing what they had always done throwing money around to not have to deal with there son. Before the little jaunt in Samoa I remember Chris being a nice guy who I would have never suspected anything violent from. Hard lesson for Mr. Sutton to learn you reap what you sew and you created a monster.

MissouriGal   April 20th, 2012 11:27 am ET

MiamiBoy, this article is ol so this post may never get posted, but...God help me, I agree with you and I sympathize with Christopher Sutton. Not that I don't have the greatest pity for John R Sutton-blind, disfigured, bereft of his wife-too, but I cannot help but empathize with CS. Why? While I have never gone through a "Behavioral Modification" school or "boot camp", I did read a non fiction expose of those places a few years ago, and the book was infuriating. I constantly had to put the book down and walk around a bit to cool off while reading it. The things some of these places do to their victims are disgusting. They literally try to break down a person's personality and re mold them into a behavioral unit according to OTHER'S specifications-ie, they are dehumanizing. The ones set up primarily for drug users described....THINGS...done by the (minimum wage, marginally educated, "inner city" ) employees to the (middle and upper class, white ) helpless clients that really and truly read like something out of a script for an exceptionally sadistic S&M/B&D XXX film. Just vile....(I will spare you and others details, as if I DID list details, they probably won't post this-yeah, THAT bad. ) Who knows what was done to CS (the book did not list the Samoa place IIRC, mostly describing "Boot Camps", "Christian academies", etc, in the continental USA. So while watching the ID channel show on the Sutton Tragedy, I could not help but sympathize with CS : For which I will no doubt be flamed, and maybe deservedly, but that's my instincts. Looks like your experiences with him suggest I may be on the right track . (PS HOW could it be legal to hold someone against his will at such a place till age 19!?!??!! That's legal adulthood and then some!)

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