Prosecution seeks to refute witness testimony in double-homicide trial

By From page A3 | May 17, 2014

Richard R. Calkins

Richard R. Calkins

FAIRFIELD — Prosecutors ended their first week of testimony in the double-murder jury trial for a Vacaville man with the prosecutor trying to counter the previous day’s testimony of the defendant’s brother.

Richard R. Calkins, then 18, joined three friends in eating psilocybin mushrooms and watching television at his Vacaville apartment on the night of Nov. 16, 2010. Without provocation, Calkins opened fire on the friends. Richard M. Perez, 20, and Cameron S. Silva, 21, were both killed and Sarah J. Berkheimer was wounded.

Calkins’ lawyer has told jurors the mushrooms made Calkins totally oblivious and not responsible for the violence.

Bolstering the notion that Calkins was unconscious of his actions, his older brother, who was in the apartment when the shooting started, testified Thursday that he interrupted the shooting. Joshua Calkins testified that his younger brother “seemed like he wasn’t there” and that his brother pointed the gun at his face and pulled the trigger twice.

Prosecutors on Friday put the older brother’s wife on the witness stand. She said her husband did not tell her for months about having an emptied gun pointed at his face or that Calkins had an empty look on his face. The wife’s testimony was followed by police testimony about their conversations with Joshua Calkins, who initially told them a stranger had done the shooting before implicating his brother.

Joshua Calkins also never told police about having a gun put to his face or that his brother had a blank look on his face at the time of the shooting.

The prosecution, who has told jurors that Calkins’ actions were calculated, targeted and methodical, is expected to continue its case when the trial resumes Monday morning.

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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