Suspect in Deputy Overall killing stewed over speeding ticket, says prosecutor

Posted: 6:13 PM, Mar 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-12 22:13:14Z

"If you touch me, I will kill you," said Christopher Berak in a chilling recording taken from his cell phone after his arrest in the murder of Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall.

Investigators say the 22-year-old made the recording the night before Thanksgiving, after he received a speeding ticket in Shelby Township. 

Prosecutors say it's clear from the recording that Berak was upset about the ticket.

"This is a message for the court. I will kill anybody in the courtroom who touches me or approaches me in any manner that is aggressive, or if anyone puts their hands on me I will kill them," Berak said in the recording. "If you charge me for a ticket for driving on the street that you paved on my planet, I will (expletive) kill you. Do you understand? I will (expletive) kill you if you try to charge me for (expletive) driving too fast on your (expletive) road."

Early Thanksgiving Day, 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.

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 during Berak's preliminary examination Monday. 

But Stephen Rabaut, Berak's defense attorney, said his client had no intention on killing the deputy.

Rabaut said it's reasonable to think Berak was trying to avoid the stop sticks in the road, and that there may be a case for reckless driving causing death. 

The judge determined that there is sufficient evidence to order Berak to stand trial on charges of First Degree Murder and Murder of a Peace Officer.

Berak remains in jail.