Charissa Davis has a hole in her heart. It was one that used to be filled with the love she received from her son, Nathaniel, but since he was shot to death in Hollis, all that remains is sadness and the painful memory of how he died.
“When I saw him in the hospital, he was unconscious,” Davis recalled. “He was in really bad condition. He was in pain. He was bleeding. It was a hard thing to digest.”
Davis was spending time with her family on April 17, 2006 when she received a voicemail message from a nurse at Mary Immaculate Hospital informing her that Nathaniel was in the emergency room and that she should come down right away.
When she got there, she learned that her son had been shot in the stomach. The bullet had pierced his liver, intestines and main artery leading to the heart, before exiting his body. Doctors operated on him the next morning, but were unable to save him.
“I was very upset when I found out that he had been shot, but I didn’t think he would die,” Davis said. “A lot of people get shot and they don’t die. It hurt me and my family so bad. I never even got to say good-bye.”
But Davis takes solace in the fact that her son’s killer was convicted of the murder and will spend, what she hopes will be, a very long time behind bars.
Christopher Chisolm, 23, of Jamaica was convicted of multiple charges on Jan. 20 after a two-week trial. They are: second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first- and second- degree burglary, second-and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23 and faces up to 75 years in prison.
“Such crimes call for lengthy prison sentences to ensure that justice is served and society is protected,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Nathaniel, 17, was at a gathering in the backyard of a home on Farmers Boulevard in Hollis when the incident occurred. He was with two friends and they were looking at an old car that one of them had purchased and joking about ways they were going to repair it when shots rang out, according to Davis.
Chisolm and an unapprehended individual one armed with a shotgun, the other with a pistol, opened fire. Davis said that at the trial Chisolm couldn’t remember what prompted the crime, but she believes the men had been involved in a dispute with the homeowner and were angry that she was trying to evict them.
Davis further explained that her son had only met the two friends a few months prior to the incident and was unaware that the house had allegedly been known as a location for drug deals and prostitution. She further stated that the homeowner would allegedly rent rooms in the residence without conducting background checks or really knowing who the occupants were.
“I never expected anyone to shoot him,” Davis said. “He didn’t do anything to cause this to happen.”
According to his mother, Nathaniel was a smart and caring individual who aspired to become an engineer. He loved animals and would often bring home stray dogs and take care of them.
Davis said that in the years leading up to the trial she sometimes lost hope that justice would be served.
“It took so long,” she said. “You start to wonder — does the prosecution have enough evidence? Is he going to get convicted? I think my belief in God and I had a lot of good people around me helped me get through it.”
Throughout the trial Chisholm showed no remorse and never apologized to Davis for taking her son’s life, the grieving mom said.
“He was nasty and had this attitude,” she recalled. “He kept looking at me with smirks and smiles. He brought all his friends with him from the streets. They kept acting as if we did something to them.”
Davis said Chisolm and his buddies mocked the family’s grief and told them they would have “more tears to come,” intimating that they were going to retaliate against Davis and her family.
“His family and friends can visit him in prison, but what about my son?” Davis said. “I will never see my son again, and he just sits up there like he doesn’t care acting all big and bad.”
At the sentencing Davis plans to submit a victim impact statement, chronicling how her life has been forever changed by her loss.
“I don’t trust people,” she said. “I confine myself to my children and my immediate family. I don’t have a social life. They took that from me when they took my son. They devastated my family. They devastated his brothers and sisters.”
Chisholm was also convicted of a burglary and assault, which took place two months after the Davis murder. On June 30, 2006. He and Anthony Lalor forced their way into the Jamaica home of Amadou Diallo, 37, beat him with a handgun and strangled him with a cord until he lay unconscious.
Diallo sustained lacerations to the head, arm and finger, which required staples and stitches to repair, and he also had bruising around his head, arms and body. Lalor, now 24, of Manhattan pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary on Nov. 3, 2006 and was subsequently sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison.
But it wasn’t long before Lalor was up to his old tricks.
At Chisolm’s trial, he allegedly used the camera on his cell phone to snap a picture of one of the jurors, which court officers feared he would use for intimidation purposes, according to the Daily News. He was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.