By David Hedges
Publisher, The Times Record

The questions still run through her mind.

For Christine Cox, the answers are harder to find.

"I will probably never know the whole truth," said Cox, not long after her teenage son, Christopher, was arrested for the murder of his cousin, Russell Metz.

When her son showed up at her door on the evening of Aug. 4 and told her what had happened, she knew she had no other choice but to do what she did.

"It's not easy calling the police on your son, and then watching them take him away," she said.

And it wasn't easy as she sat in a Calhoun County courtroom Friday, listening to a State Police officer as he described the murder scene.

Christopher Cox, 19, now sits in a jail cell in Flatwoods, awaiting the next chapter in his brief but eventful life.

"It doesn't look good for him," said his mother, a 49-year old widow and cancer survivor who was recently diagnosed with a heart problem.

"I'm afraid he will not see the outside world for quite a while," she said.

But things were not always this way. Cox recalls happier times when she and her husband, Rick, first adopted the 3-1/2 year old boy.

Rick would die just a few months later.

She recalls her son as a "very caring kid." Growing up in Spencer he played baseball, basketball and roller hockey, and was a member of the Boy Scouts where he earned the Order of the Arrow.

In many ways he had a normal childhood, but there were also some problems along the way.

"He had some anger that he couldn't live with his birth parents," said his adopted mother.

He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder. He began to have some problems at school.

He attended Roane County schools though his sophomore year at Roane County High, where he lettered as a member of the cross country team. The 6-5 teenager had wanted to play basketball, but his grades kept him from it.

"He had his teenage problems like everyone else," said his mother. "Then he got hooked up with the wrong kids."

The problems seemed to get worse and after his sophomore year he went to live with relatives in Calhoun County, where he tried to get off to a fresh start in a new school.

Even in a new school the problems continued. He eventually went to Ohio where he lived with his birth father for a few months. While he was there his mother said he was stopped while driving a friend's car and charged with having drug paraphernalia.

As part of his sentence the court ordered him to perform community service. He was allowed to return to Roane County and did his service at the Roane County Animal Shelter.

His service at the shelter drew the praise of the humane society which operates the shelter. "He was the hardest working kid you ever saw," said his mother.

He re-enrolled in Calhoun County and for most of his last year in school he lived with other relatives in the Spencer area and commuted to school in Calhoun County. He graduated in June, a year behind his class.

His mother said Chris had been living with friends in Arnoldsburg this summer. He called his mother on Tuesday, Aug. 3 and said his friends told him he would have to find some place else to stay. She called him back that night and told him she had found him a job.

The next morning she saw her son at the Wal-Mart store in Spencer. He was with the man he called his uncle, although Cox said Russell Metz was actually his birth father's cousin.

The next time she saw him was a little after 6:30 that evening, when he appeared at her door and said he had been stabbed, and Russell Metz was dead...

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