Prosecutors complete case in double-murder trial

By From page B6 | June 04, 2014

Richard R. Calkins

Richard R. Calkins

FAIRFIELD — Prosecutors wrapped up their case Monday against a Vacaville man standing trial on a pair of murder and an attempted murder charge.

Richard R. Calkins, 22, has pleaded not guilty.

Calkins’ defense attorney previously brought two expert witnesses to the witness stand, who testified Calkins was high on psilocybin mushrooms at the time of the Nov. 16, 2010, at his Vacaville apartment and was experiencing a blackout and unconsciousness when he pulled a gun and shot three friends who were also high on mushrooms.

The defense experts also said Calkins told them repeatedly that he had no memory of any of the events of the bloody night.

Calkins shot and killed Richard M. Perez, 20, and Cameron S. Silva, 21, and wounded Sarah Berkheimer, who was 21 at the time.

Prosecutors responded to the experts’ testimony about Calkins’ memory Monday by playing a lengthy video of a police interview Calkins gave police a few weeks after his arrest.

In the video, Calkins initially tells detectives he has no memory of what happened in his apartment. As he was pressed and cajoled by the detectives, Calkins admits shooting Silva and watching him drop to the floor.

“I remember shooting, I thought it was a bad dream,” Calkins tells a detective.

Calkins recalled going to a drug dealer’s home earlier in the evening and buying the mushrooms, how many of the mushrooms he ate and watching “Family Guy” on television with his three friends late into the night. He also repeatedly said he had no explanation for what he had done.

Calkins also told detectives he had bought a gun two days before the shooting and had carried it around with him loaded in his pocket.

The video prompted Calkins’ defense attorney to call to the witness stand an expert on police interrogation techniques. The defense expert is expected to take the witness stand again when testimony in the trial resumes Wednesday.

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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