Christopher Vickerman sentenced to 80 years for murder of his father

Vickerman, Christopher

Christopher Alan Vickerman, 31, Minot, was sentenced on Tuesday to 100 years in prison, with 20 years suspended, for the murder of his father, Mark Vickerman, 55. Mark Vickerman was found shot to death at his residence on May 10, 2019.

North Central District Court Judge Doug Mattson said Vickerman will not be eligible for parole until he is in his late 90s, or until after he has served 85 percent of his sentence, or at least 68 years. Vickerman will receive credit for 1,026 days already served in the Ward County Jail. He will be on supervised probation for five years after his release.

Vickerman was found guilty of the Class AA felony murder at trial in December 2021 and was sentenced Tuesday.

During the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Christopher Vickerman’s mother said she will always love him but spoke about the enormous damage that he has done to her and to her family.

“Your dad loved you,” Anastasia Vickerman said during the sentencing hearing. “He would have done anything for you. He wanted things to be better between the two of you.”

By killing his father, Christopher Vickerman took away any possibility of that happening and the loving husband, father, and grandfather that others in his family had known, she said.

Father and son had a difficult relationship and had argued over business, money, and custody of Christopher Vickerman’s children. Mark Vickerman had told friends before the murder that his son is mentally ill and was not medicated. Mark Vickerman had told several people he was afraid his son would try to kill him, based on testimony at past court hearings, and Christopher Vickerman had an irrational hatred of his father and believed he was out to get him.

Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson told the judge that, according to the evidence presented at trial, Christopher Vickerman had planned the murder of his father for months beforehand. She asked for a sentence of life without parole. She said he is narcissistic. Those who know Christopher Vickerman believe he would be dangerous if he is released from prison and that he could commit a similar crime again, Roza Larson told the judge.

Christopher Vickerman’s lawyer, Robert Martin, told the judge that his client is schizophrenic and was medicated once he was in jail. Larson told the judge that no mental health professional ever found Christopher Vickerman incompetent to stand trial or indicated he was incapable of knowing right from wrong.

Christopher Vickerman had asked his lawyer to recommend a minimum mandatory sentence of four years in prison for use of the weapon in commission of the crime. Christopher Vickerman also asked for a four-year sentence and told the judge that it didn’t seem fair to him “to think that I might be punished for the rest of my life for something I had no control over.” He complained that he hasn’t been outside for three years and has had to eat “greasy spoon food” at the jail for three years that he said would cause anyone’s mental health to suffer.

His mother said during her testimony she hopes one day that he will apologize to her for what he did.

Judge Mattson said Christopher Vickerman’s actions were “despicable” and “inexcusable.” Mattson said he decided on the sentence he did because he wants to make it harder for the North Dakota Department of Corrections to release him earlier. Mattson has also ordered Vickerman to have no contact with any family members while he is incarcerated, with the exception of his mother. His mother will be permitted to have contact with Christopher Vickerman only if she initiates that contact.

Martin said Christopher Vickerman will appeal the case to the North Dakota Supreme Court.


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