Man who killed Mich. deputy during pursuit found guilty

Christopher Berak, 24, faces life in prison without parole

Omar Abdel-Baqui
Detroit Free Press

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. — An Oakland County Circuit Court jury has found a 24-year-old man who struck and killed a sheriff's deputy with his vehicle during a 22-mile pursuit two years ago guilty of first-degree murder and homicide of a peace officer.

Christopher Berak rammed into Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Overall, a 22-year veteran of the force, as Overall, 50, was laying out "stop sticks" on the street to try to end a bizarre pursuit that began in Lapeer County on Thanksgiving Day in 2017, according to previous Free Press reports

“Today, we now have closure in the line of duty death of Deputy Eric Overall, who served his time at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office with dignity, integrity, and grace," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement Friday. "His family, friends and our agency have a void which will never be filled as a result of the tragic loss of Eric. His impact will not be forgotten."

Berak's sentencing date is Dec. 10. He faces life in prison without parole.

The chase began when Berak walked into Lapeer County Jail, announced he was God, drove away and was followed by Lapeer deputies.

The pursuit made its way to Oakland County and included multiple traffic stops, shouted talk through closed car windows, a suicide threat to drive at high speed into a tree, calls by Berak to 911 insisting that "we don't follow your laws," and a convoy of police vehicles following a battered car that was seemingly observing traffic laws, according to 2017 Free Press reports.

Defense attorney Stephen Rabaut called the case "very sad," but would not comment on a potential appeal or further litigation.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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