Local News

Man Appeals Sentence in Naval Reservist's Slaying

Posted December 11, 2007 12:31 p.m. EST

— A man who helped the wife of a Naval reservist kill her husband in a Raleigh park two years ago has appealed his sentence in the case.

Latwon Darrell Johnson maintains his 23-year prison sentence is too harsh, given his role in the slaying and his cooperation with police and prosecutors. He pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Paul Berkley, 46, of Clayton, was shot in the head on a pathway at Millbrook Exchange Park on Dec. 18, 2005.

Berkley's wife, Monique Berkley, and Andrew Deshawn Canty pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying and have been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Police said Monique Berkley and Canty were in a romantic relationship while Paul Berkley was deployed overseas and that she plotted to kill her husband to collect on his life insurance.

Monique Berkley lured her husband to the park with the promise of a romantic interlude, and Canty ambushed the couple and killed Paul Berkley in a staged robbery, police said. Johnson drove Canty to and from the park, police said.