CLARKSTON (WWJ/AP) – A man charged with murder after authorities say he deliberately ran over a sheriff’s deputy in southeastern Michigan will get a competency examination.
A judge on Monday ordered the examination for 22-year-old Christopher Joseph Berak, who is charged with first-degree homicide and murder of a peace officer.
Berak’s lawyer Stephen Rabaut told the court “it warrants a competency evaluation.”
Authorities said 50-year-old Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall was outside his squad car early Nov. 23 preparing to deploy “stop sticks” designed to deflate vehicles’ tires at a Brandon Township intersection when he was hit by Berak’s vehicle, which then rolled over.
Police said 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 was arrested at the scene.
A court-appointed attorney said Berak — who has four prior convictions for possession of marijuana and resisting and obstructing police — has a history of mental health issues and is currently under the care of a psychiatrist. He lives with his parents in Macomb Township and works at a local pizzeria.
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 will undergo a forensic exam to determine his competency to understand criminal responsibility, to assist his attorney in his defense, and to stand trial. His next court hearing is set for Feb. 12.
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