Local News

Investigator: Slain Reservist's Wife Promised 'Romantic Interlude' Before Shooting

Posted December 22, 2005

— The wife of a Navy reservist who was shot and killed in a Raleigh park early Sunday morning has confessed to the crime and given details of the incident to police.

At a news conference at the Raleigh Police Department, Sgt. J.C. Perry said Monique Berkley told police she planned to get Paul Berkley's insurance money.

"Monique Berkley has provided detectives with a confession to her role in this crime," Perry said. "She has implicated Andrew Canty as well as Latwon Johnson."

Perry also confirmed that Monique Berkley was having an affair with Canty, who moved into the Berkley home while Paul Berkley was deployed to the Middle East.

Perry said Paul Berkley suspected that his wife was having an affair, and that he told his daughter, Becky, that he planned to divorce his wife. Perry said Becky told her stepmother, who allegedly put the plot to kill her husband in motion.

On the night of the shootings, police said the couple had dinner in Clayton, went to see "King Kong" at a north Raleigh movie theater and then went to Millbrook Exchange Park for what Monique Berkley had promised to be a "romantic interlude."

Shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday morning, police received a frantic from Monique Berkley, reporting the shootings. She had been shot in the shoulder; her husband was shot in the head.

"The original plan called for Monique Berkley to be beaten," Perry said. "This would be done to cover up her involvement in the crime."

Perry, however, did not comment on why she had been shot, instead.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said he had not decided whether he will seek the death penalty against Berkley in the case.

"We really need to look at the evidence and see whether or not it shows evidence of aggravating circumstances and look at all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the murder and the defendants before we make that call," he said.

Willoughby also said that he was not ruling out the possibility of more suspects or more charges. He expects to take the case to the grand jury for indictment in January.


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