Christopher Snow, 35, entered a plea of guilty to the 2019 beating and strangulation death of Melissa Nichole Waldrop, 31. Circuit Judge Jeremy Taylor presided over the case and accepted Snow’s plea. District Attorney Mike O’Dell explained that the plea was pursuant to an agreement reached between the State and the Defense, upon the approval of the victim’s family. Snow was sentenced by Judge Taylor to serve 25 years in the State Penitentiary.
According to investigative reports, Snow and the victim had been living together at a Crossville address. They had been out together, first having dinner and then traveling to Williams Lounge in Boaz, and finally arriving at the Stillwater Bar and Grill in Guntersville.
According to witnesses, the victim appeared distressed and upset while the defendant seemed very irritated. After about an hour at the bar, the couple left the bar together and headed for the parking lot. A verbal argument ensued with Snow shoving the victim, while accusing her of having a relationship with another man. He also physically took her debit card.
Investigators learned that after the altercation, the victim began walking back to their residence. Along the way, she was able to call and obtain a ride from a friend who took her to her Crossville home. She arrived home about 1:09 am.
Snow remained at the Stillwater Bar and continued drinking. At one point, investigators learned, Snow snapped victim’s debit card in half, commenting to staff and patrons that “she wouldn’t need it anymore.”
Before leaving the bar at around 2:00 am, Snow bought drinks for the remaining patrons and staff. Investigators were able to ascertain that he subsequently arrived at the Crossville address around 2:29 am. A little more than an hour later, Snow called 911 after he had gotten into another argument with the victim, who had gone to bed, and ultimately strangled her to death after beating her about the face and body. In the 911 call, the defendant initially claimed he had come home and found her dead.
District Attorney Mike O’Dell and Deputy District Attorney Bob Johnston served as lead prosecutors in this case, while they were assisted in the preparation of the case for trial by Deputy District Attorney Summer Summerford and DA Investigators Wade Hill and Gary Hill.
“We had a great team effort in putting this case in a position to be tried,” O’Dell stated, “but the real work happened back in March of 2019 when the original law enforcement officers did the investigation. Sheriff’s Deputy Weston Fortner, Chief Investigator David Davis, and Investigators Josh York and Scott Tarrant, working alongside Mark Hopwood and Shane Golden from the Center for Applied Forensics in Jacksonville, Alabama, did an outstanding job bringing the witnesses and evidence together. I am very proud to have such a close and effective relationship with these dedicated public servants. It is truly gratifying when their efforts are brought to a successful conclusion.”
“The family is grateful to have this defendant brought to justice,” O’Dell pointed out. “It enables them to finally find closure from this terrible crime and allow the healing process to begin. Melissa’s family and friends miss her dearly, but they all displayed enormous courage throughout this process, and they were so encouraging to us as we went through the prosecutorial process.”