FAIRFIELD — A monthlong jury trial ended Thursday with a Vacaville man being found guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder for a 2010 late-night shooting spree in a Vacaville apartment among four friends who were all high on psilocybin mushrooms.
Richard R. Calkins, 22, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Several family members of the victims, most who have been at the trial every day, cried. Seated on the opposite side of the courtroom, several of Calkins’ family members also cried.
Calkins and three friends were watching “Family Guy” on television and laughing shortly before 2 a.m. Nov. 16, 2010, after spending the evening drinking and smoking marijuana.
Using a gun he had bought just a few days earlier, Calkins first shot Richard M. Perez, 20, in the head as the two of them stood in the kitchen. Cameron S. Silva, 21, heard the shot from the living room and went to investigate. He was also shot in the head. Silva crawled back to the living room followed by Calkins, who shot Silva’s girlfriend in the face before shooting Silva again. The girlfriend, Sarah Berkheimer, survived her gunshot wound. The shooting lasted about 10 seconds.
Calkins’ defense attorney claimed the mushrooms triggered a paranoid break from reality, a state of unconsciousness, that should have excused Calkins of responsibility.
After the shootings, Calkins walked a few blocks to the Vacaville Police Department on Merchant Street where he shattered windows in the lobby before being arrested. During a struggle with officers, Calkins tumbled down a flight of stairs, fracturing his skull that resulted in a two-week coma.
Jurors deadlocked on the murder charge for Perez’ killing.
Prosecutor Robert Hightower said his office would decide by July 18 whether they would seek a second trial for Perez’ killing.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.