Trial Begins For Macomb Man Charged With Murder Of Oakland County Deputy

Jury selection is underway today

WWJ News
October 21, 2019 - 10:41 am
Berak and Overall

Christopher Berak, left, and Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall (Photos: Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

PONTIAC (WWJ) - More than 60 prospective jurors have gathered in Oakland County Circuit as the trial begins for a man accused of intentionally running over and killing a sheriff's deputy.

Prosecutors and attorneys for 23-year-old Christopher Joseph Berak of Macomb Township are questioning jurors Monday; and once a jury is seated there will be opening statements.  

Berak is charged with first degree murder in the death of 50-year-old Eric Overall, nearly two years ago.

Authorities said Berak was trying to get away from police on Nov. 23, 2017, when he veered off M-15 in Brandon Township.

Overall was outside his squad car and preparing to deploy “stop sticks” designed to deflate a vehicle's tires, police said, when he was hit by Berak’s vehicle, which then rolled over.

It's alleged that Berak swerved, making a nearly 90-degree turn before hitting Overall, who was “well off” the roadway in a grassy area when the collision occurred.

Berak's attorney, however, argues that there is no indication Berak saw the deputy or intentionally hit him.

Earlier on the day of the crash, Berak told officers at the Lapeer County Jail he was “God” and came to break out one of his “sons.”

Berak’s attorney has said his client has a history of mental health issues. Court proceedings were delayed as Berak underwent competency exams to determine his fitness for trial.

He faces life in prison if convicted as charged. 

WWJ's Ron Dewey is at the courthouse and will have updates throughout the day.