Christopher R. Gattis, 58, wore handcuffs when he was arraigned in two Chesterfield County, VA, courts on Monday, accused of killing his wife, his stepdaughter, and her boyfriend on Thanksgiving. Gattis is a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.

Not only did Gattis allegedly commit a triple homicide, but he also reportedly called the alarm company, which provides the family’s home monitoring system. He told the company to “send police,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Gattis appeared from Riverside Regional Jail on video on Monday in the county’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, as well as the General District Court.

He was confused about the two appearances and quizzed the judge about why he was in two separate courts.

Allegedly murdering his wife, Jeanett L. Gattis, 50, and his stepdaughter, Candice L. Kunze, 30, established the legal venue for the domestic court. Gattis, accused of also killing Andrew E. Buthorn, 36, also had to present himself before the General District Court – for the murder charge and for firearms-related charges.

The cases against Gattis will probably be combined, the Dispatch noted. That will likely happen “if” a grand jury certifies the charges leveled against him and are presented before the Circuit Court. He tried, on Monday, to gesture with his hands while speaking but was constrained due to the handcuffs he wore.

Accused killer denied bond, suspended as director of youth ministry

Each judge denied Gattis bond, though he did receive court-appointed legal counsel. The question of bond may be presented to a judge in the future. His next scheduled court date is set for January 30.

Grace Lutheran Church issued a statement, as well, on Monday.

Gattis was “suspended without pay,” the Dispatch reported. His actual role with the church is director of youth ministry.

Six additional domestic-related murders over Thanksgiving weekend

In addition to the triple murders committed on Thanksgiving in Chesterfield County, six additional people were also slain during unrelated domestic incidents over the holiday weekend not far from where the three were fatally shot at the Gattis’ home in Chester, VA, WUSA-TV 9 reported.

The commonality in all the cases, police stated, was the violence committed against family members.

As the result of an apparent murder-suicide, which police are investigating, law enforcement authorities found three people dead at a home in Spotsylvania, Virginia: Mary Scully, 68, Robert Scully, 69, and Meghan Scully, the couple’s 38-year-old daughter.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office hasn’t disclosed who “pulled the trigger” or a motive, according to WUSA. Until deputies discovered the three deceased at the family’s home, deputies had never been to the residence. According to the neighbors on Waterford Drive, Meghan Scully “used a wheelchair, WUSA noted. They never saw anything considered unusual and they were shocked by the news.

The third incident of deadly Domestic Violence occurred in Landover, MD, on the Thanksgiving weekend. A two-year-old boy was suffocated by a mother who, then, committed suicide, according to police and WUSA. Travis Thomas observed that the little boy killed was “just a joy little boy.” He also stated that the toddler seemed as if he was happy.

Rise in violence during holiday season

The District Alliance-Safe Housing, or DASH, of Washington, D.C., stated that there is an increase in domestic violence victims who seek help during the holiday season, TV 9 relayed. While DASH works to help people who are homeless resulting from domestic violence, the organization has stated that it can only house one in five who seek assistance.

For anyone who is in a domestic violence situation or who needs help, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available. The telephone number is 1(800) 799-7233.