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Man found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall

Posted: 11:40 AM, Nov 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 19:03:22-04
Suspect in deputy's death charged, denied bond

(WXYZ) — A jury has found Christopher Berak guilty of first degree murder and guilty of murder of a peace officer for the death of Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall.

The trial for Berak, 22, began last week and went to the jury on Thursday morning.

Early Thanksgiving Day 2017, Lapeer County Sheriff deputies began pursuing Berak after he went to their jail, claiming to be God.

After Berak left the jail, Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Kenneth Paul says he and another deputy attempted to get Berak's information and find out more about him and why he'd come to their jail.

Berak stopped twice for Deputy Paul, but drove off each time without giving him any information.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard released this statement:

“Today, we now have closure in the line of duty death of Deputy Eric Overall, who served his time at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office with dignity, integrity, and grace. His family friends and our agency have a void which will never be filled as a result of the tragic loss of Eric. His impact will not be forgotten. I applaud all the investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and outside agencies who assisted in this investigation and trial. Reliving the case has not been easy on anyone including Eric’s family and loved ones. I hope his wife Sonja and son Ken find some peace and solace now that his killer has been held responsible. Eric’s ‘Never Quit’ mantra represented everyone’s dedication to obtaining justice in this case.”

Deputy Paul says they activated their overhead lights but not their sirens and continued to pursue Berak.

Once in Oakland County, as they approached the intersection of M15 and Seymore Lake Road, Deputy Paul says he could see an Oakland County Sheriff's vehicle in the distance and he slowed up.

Paul says he could see Berak, who had not been driving recklessly, now swerve and hit Deputy Overall.

Overall, a well-respected, veteran member of law enforcement, died from his injuries.

It wasn't until Berak spotted Deputy Overall on the side of the road that he steered to hit him, said Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor David Hutson. But Stephen Rabaut, Berak's defense attorney, said his client had no intention on killing the deputy.

Berak faces life in prison.