In 1991, a jury acquitted Berkley in a shooting that paralyzed a man following a near-crash on a California freeway. Thirty years later, he was on trial again, this time in Snohomish County, Washington.
Berkley, 75, was driving a Honda Accord around 7 p.m. on July 6, 2019 when a Lincoln Navigator rear-ended him on Glenwood Avenue, according to charging papers. Berkley got out of his car and walked over to the Navigator while the other driver, Steven Whitemarsh, 49, remained in the front seat, according to witness testimony in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The two men appeared to have a brief conversation through the open window, witnesses testified. Berkley then shot Whitemarsh in the face. One witness testified that a few seconds passed before Berkley fired a second bullet.
First-responders found Whitemarsh still strapped in his seatbelt. He was pronounced dead soon afterward. Berkley’s attorney argued that the case was about self-defense.
The judge set sentencing for Friday, April 16.
Q13 News reached out to Berkely's lawyer, the Law Office of Laura Shaver and they provided the following statement:
"We respect the jury’s decision, however had they been able to hear evidence of Mr. Whitemarsh’s 6 prior DUIs and testimony from another man he aggressively stalked in the same neighborhood only two months prior perhaps there would have been a different outcome. The publicity surrounding Mr. Berkley’s history in CA has been disappointing. He was acquitted in a trial 30+ years ago because his life was in danger and he lawfully defended himself. He shouldn’t be re-tried in the media because he had the misfortune of encountering Mr. Whitemarsh."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.