Jurors hear closing arguments in 2010 double-homicide

By From page A3 | June 06, 2014

Richard R. Calkins

Richard R. Calkins

FAIRFIELD — Jurors heard closing arguments in the double-murder and attempted murder trial for a 22-year old Vacaville man who went on a 2010 shooting rampage in his Vacaville apartment after eating a handful of psilocybin mushrooms.

Richard R. Calkins, 22, and three friends ate the mushrooms during an evening of drinking, smoking marijuana watching cartoons and playing video games on Nov. 16, 2010. Without provocation, Calkins, then 18, pulled a loaded .40-caliber gun out of his pants pocket and shot and killed Richard M. Perez, 20, and Cameron S. Silva, 21, and wounded Sarah Berkheimer, who was 21 at the time.

Calkins’ defense attorney, Chief Deputy Public Defender Oscar Bobrow, told jurors that Calkins was unconscious during the shooting, having had a psychotic break.

Prosecutor Robert Hightower told jurors that Calkins had acted rationally, reminding them that Calkins had waited until his girlfriend and his brother had gone to bed before he shot and killed the three longtime friends.

“He didn’t shoot sporadically or aimlessly,” Hightower said.

The killings were targeted, precise and accurate, he said.

Bobrow faulted Hightower for focusing on the grisly physical evidence while making little mention of Calkins’ mental state at the time of the shootings.

“Conscious caring people who know and love each other don’t consciously kill their friends,” Bobrow told jurors, echoing a theme he has used repeatedly through the monthlong trial.

Bobrow all but conceded the killings amounted to involuntary manslaughter.

Jurors are scheduled to be back in court Friday morning for deliberations.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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