Christopher Smith's Family Hopes Death Has "Lasting Worthwhile Impact" for Others Struggling With Addiction

Following our earlier post about Christopher Smith, the former chief of staff for the state Senate found shot to death Saturday, his family contacted New Times and asks that we share with our readers a letter written by Smith's sister.

Phoenix police won't say whether Smith's death was drug related. However, it seems he'd been struggling with drug addiction for about a year prior to his murder.

Smith's family acknowledges his drug use, and hopes his death will serve as an example for others who may be tempted by drugs.

Below is the Smith family's letter in its entirety:

A Call for Compassion

Bad things happen to good people and good families, in this case my brother Christopher Smith's recent untimely death after 50 years of excellence followed by a single year of tragic drug-dependency.

Our gratitude to friends and colleagues of Christopher's who have focused on his true admirable self in recent coverage. He was phenomenally giving, both professionally and personally.

My brother was someone's son. His ailing father wishes only that Christopher's death have some lasting worthwhile impact, perhaps as illustrative of the horrific damage wrought by addiction on an otherwise inexhaustibly positive life.

It is not Christopher's reputation that is at stake, it is the lives of other excellent young husbands, fathers, sons who might be tempted to try crack cocaine even one time. For my brother it was the beginning of the end.

On behalf of our good family I would ask you to consider this letter a call for two things: compassion in the media, and mindful personal choice to simplify our lives.

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James King
Contact: James King