Becoming a lawyer and then choosing to serve as a public defender is an act of selflessness. These lawyers seek to serve those who need legal representation yet cannot afford to secure it themselves. This enables each person to have a fair trial even if they are underprivileged. Such lawyers work all their lives defending potential criminals, never expecting that they themselves could become a victim of the heinous criminal act of murder.
One unfortunate Portland Oregon, public defender found herself in just this position. The victim, Nancy Bergeson was strangled to death in her own home during the year of 2009. Until now, the case ran cold.
Recently, due to newly emerging information, a suspect has finally been charged with her murder. Christopher Williamson, age 28, a resident of Tualatin, Oregon has been formally charged with the homicide of Bergeson. Williamson has a long rap sheet of other charges over the years. The perpetrator was a mere 19 years of age when he allegedly took Bergeson’s life.
For nine years, it appeared Williamson may have gotten away with the murder. Fate was about to change when in 2012 the case was reassigned to the Portland Cold Case Homicide Unit. The police departments crime lab revisited the almost decade old DNA evidence that was originally obtained at the scene of the crime.
Although, no motive has been released as to why Bergeson became the victim of such a ghastly crime, law enforcement feels there was an outside connection between Bergeson and Williamson other than that of a public defender and client.
Many twists and turns could have prevented justice from being served. When investigators first arrived on scene it was believed that the victim had passed away due to natural causes. This very significant detail led to police simply removing the body, instead of home immediately becoming a crime scene investigation. Thankfully, an autopsy was completed the following day which provided evidence of foul play, thus Bergeson’s death was subsequently ruled a homicide. Had this not occurred, there may have never been a case to go cold.
It appears that this is not Williamson’s first run in with the law. He faced assault charges during 2015 after being arrested for punching his father. He was able to skirt conviction after completing a diversion program. Furthermore, he had previously been convicted for other assault related charges. His laundry list of charges did not end there, in 2011 the perpetrator was also convicted of underage possession of alcohol. Not to mention, he obtained a conviction for farebeating during the year of 2011. The offender’s arraignment will take place on Tuesday regarding the one count of murder charge he is currently facing.