Survivor, shooter’s brother testify to Vacaville double-homicide

By From page A3 | May 16, 2014

Richard R. Calkins

Richard R. Calkins

FAIRFIELD — Friends and family members of Richard R. Calkins took the witness stand Thursday to recount the night he shot and killed two friends and wounded another while they were eating psilocybin mushrooms and watching television.

The families of the victims were also in court for the second day of the prosecution case. They listened to grisly details of the killing of Richard M. Perez, 20, and Cameron S. Silva, 21, and the wounding of Sarah J. Berkheimer on the night of Nov. 16, 2010, in Vacaville.

Berkheimer testified that Calkins opened fire shortly before 2 a.m. after the four of them had eaten the mushrooms they obtained earlier in the evening. Perez was shot first at the William Street apartment and then Silva, Berkheimer’s boyfriend, who crawled to Berkheimer before dying. Berkheimer was then shot twice in the face.

Two other prosecution witnesses, the mother of Calkins’ son and Calkins’ older brother, Joshua, both testified to hearing the gunshots while they were in upstairs bedrooms.

Calkins’ brother testified that he had just gotten into bed when he heard the first gunshot and heard the second gunshot as he put on his clothes and descended the stairs where he saw Silva get shot from behind.

Joshua Calkins said his brother did not say anything during the shooting.

“It seemed like he wasn’t there,” Joshua Calkins said, adding that his brother pointed the gun at his face and pulled the trigger twice. The gun had already been emptied in the burst of shooting a few seconds earlier.

Joshua Calkins told his brother to leave the apartment. He complied, taking the gun with him.

Police showed up at the shooting scene a short time later.

Testimony is set to resume Friday 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.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Tax PayerMay 16, 2014 - 5:18 am

    POS, sounds like an open and shut case but I am sure the defense will say he was a good boy!

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  • 2realMay 16, 2014 - 6:51 am

    He even tried to take his brother out...?! Death by firing squad ASAP!!

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  • ?May 16, 2014 - 9:47 am

    I'm confused; did he point the gun at his borther's face, or at his own face?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Real FamilyMay 17, 2014 - 11:09 am

    The defendant and the other 3 family members in the house are a bunch of liars the fact they make light of leaving 3 people to die without even calling for help is sad they where not close friends with the the 2 who died just acquaintances threw mutual friends aka they lived in a trap house where they sold drugs defense team needs to get there facts straight I hope they put him away for life and make the 3 others accountable for not being truthful in something that's cost manny people to suffer and hurt over young lives being cut short

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