Victim’s family: Accused murderer could walk free

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MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — A West Tennessee family is baffled after they say a killer will soon walk free, having never faced a judge and jury. Brittany Christie was found dead inside a Jackson motel in December of 2013. Her husband, John, was eventually charged with her murder. But Brittany’s family says a deal with the district attorney has changed everything. Brittany’s family says John capitalized on his cellmate, striking a deal to get out of jail. That cellmate was Charlie Pittman, who confessed to killing his fiancee on the Union University campus. The family says John agreed to testify in that trial, allowing him to get away with murder. “He’s a coward,” Crystal Settle said. “Brittany has been victimized twice. She was victimized by John and now she’s being victimized by the justice system.” Settle said a deal with the DA will set John Christie free as early as next week. Settle says John killed her goddaughter, Brittany Christie, in 2013 and made it look like an overdose. “He drugged her up to where she couldn’t do anything,” Settle said. “Then he stuck those needles in her arms, and he watched her lay there and die.” Charged with second-degree murder, John has been behind bars for a year and a half. But Brittany’s family said the DA tells them a reduced charge of reckless endangerment and a release on time served is possible. “This man murdered Brittany, and he’s getting off with less than two years in prison,” Settle said. Settle says John is being rewarded for his willingness to testify against Charlie Pittman. The two were allegedly cellmates and confided in each other. “That case was no more important than Brittany’s,” Settle said. “She was just as important as that death.” Brittany’s family says if John walks free, which the DA will not confirm, justice will have only been served for one family. “I can’t even believe it’s happening. I really can’t,” Settle said. “Someone to get away with murder and to let them off because they’re helping another case — that’s a crime. That alone is a crime.” John Christie is expected to appear in court for a hearing Monday afternoon. We spoke with District Attorney General Jerry Woodall Thursday. He said he could not comment on whether there was a deal in the works.

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