Video: Reservist Killed In Cold Blood

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updated 12/22/2005 2:04:03 PM ET 2005-12-22T19:04:03
TRANSCRIPT

A Navy reservist just back from a tour of duty in the Middle East was gunned down in cold blood.  The most shocking development, police have charged his wife with killing her husband with the help of two 18-year-old men.  Monique Berkley is accused of being romantically involved with one of the alleged shooters.

Journalists, a friend of the reservist, and a criminal defense attorney all join Catherine Crier, guest host for 'Scarborough Country', to delve into this shocking case.

To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

CATHERINE CRIER, GUEST HOST:  Joining us now from Raleigh, North Carolina, are Mandy Locke and Jennifer Brevorka.  They‘re reporters with “The News and Observer.” 

All right, let‘s start, Mandy, with—with you.  This story was replete with holes, I think, before we even got to the issue of whether or not anybody is going to confess or rat on the others in this case.  During her frantic 911 call, she claims not to know her attackers. This woman is saying she didn‘t see the guy, she doesn‘t know the guys, and yet they are quite involved with this particular woman.  What is the relationship of the wife with the two 18-year-olds? 

MANDY LOCKE, “THE NEWS & OBSERVER”:  Well, it‘s an interesting relationship, for sure. 

We spoke with the—Andrew Canty is one of the suspects.  We spoke with his mother earlier in the week, and she divulged to us her son had been involved in a romantic relationship with Monique for the better part of the year.  In fact, he moved out of her house in April into Monique‘s home, and it was quite clear to everyone around them, including neighbors, that her son, Andrew Canty, had had a romantic relationship with Monique. 

CRIER:  All right.  And tell me who Latwon Johnson is. 

LOCKE:  Latwon is Andrew‘s friend.  The two met about a year-and-a-half ago when they were working at a Wendy‘s food store in Clayton.  And the two just became buddies. 

And Latwon was also dating the daughter of Paul Berkley, Becky (ph), for some period of time this year, but the relationship between the two dissolved about a month ago. 

CRIER:  All right. 

And, Jennifer, what was the relationship between Monique and her husband?  Quite a bit older.  She is 26.  He was 46, Paul Berkley.  Did people think this was a good relationship, or was the marriage in trouble? 

JENNIFER BREVORKA, “THE NEWS & OBSERVER”:  Well, apparently, his employer said that he didn‘t sense anything was awry or amiss.

And her family, when we spoke with them, said that the only people that could answer that question about the relationship would be Monique and Paul.  But as far as we can tell from the blogs that the children posted and from speaking with neighbors and those who knew them in Clayton, there was really no signs that this was a troubled relationship. 

CRIER:  Well, this poor man came back from Iraq on R&R for three weeks, was home four days.  Now, they were in a park about 30 minutes from their home in the wee hours of the morning, and I understand the weather, it was cold and rainy.  What is your explanation for that? 

BREVORKA:  At this point, there has not been an explanation presented, certainly not by the police, who are keeping pretty mum on what they know about the events leading up to the shooting and what happened afterwards. 

It was bitterly cold that night, and it was pouring rain, and so the idea of taking a walk in a deserted North Raleigh park 30 to 40 minutes from your home is strange. 

CRIER:  All right.  Now, they have arrested the wife.  They have arrested Monique now, so one would assume somebody has been talking.  Do you have any sort of rumors out there? 

LOCKE:  We don‘t, Catherine.  Stay tuned.  Keep reading us. 

CRIER:  Absolutely. Mandy and Jennifer, thank you very much.  Now, on the phone with us is Tim Thomas, a friend of the murdered reservist.  Tim, what sort of understanding did you have about the relationship between Monique and Paul? 

TIM THOMAS, FRIEND OF PAUL BERKLEY:  When they—since the first day I met Paul and Monique, I mean, they were like—held hands, were loving and caring of each other. 

In the evenings, Paul was always—you know, we would work hard, and after we were done, he was ready to go home and be with his family. 

CRIER:  I understand that there was a lot of blogging done by this family.  They had their own Web sites, and comments that Paul had posted just shortly before his death sounded like everything was fine as far as he was concerned. 

THOMAS:  Yes.  Paul said when he met Monique, that she was the person for him. They had spent quite a bit of time walking and talking.

And, I mean, that was fairly natural for them.  I mean, they seemed to do it in all seasons.  And they liked doing it at night, which is kind of strange, but that‘s when they did their talking.  He would come to work sometimes exhausted from them being out at night. 

CRIER:  All right.  So, they did take walks in these odd hours, wee hours of the morning, but when you heard that it was very cold and very rainy, did that, you know, set off any bells in your head? 

THOMAS:  That was just Paul.  Paul was kind of strange, you know, in certain respects.  That was their time to be together.  So—and, I mean, those two used to just have long conversations. 

CRIER:  All right.  Well, Tim, thank you very much.   Joining us now, senior editor of “Justice” magazine, Adriana Gardella, and criminal defense attorney Michael Cardoza.

Michael, they—they obviously got to her pretty quickly on this, but you do have to ask yourself, even if it was a practice to walk in the park, rainy, cold, seems pretty bizarre.  If, in fact, these two men, even if the boyfriend was doing this on his own, she tells police she doesn‘t know who these guys were, came out of nowhere.  And, of course, she was shot, certainly not apparently a very bad injury, but those things don‘t look good for someone who was not complicit. 

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  See, I am not enamored with the fact that they are walking in the park at 3:00 in the morning, because remember what the victim‘s friends said.  It‘s not unusual for them to do that. 

CRIER:  In the cold rain. 

CARDOZA:  Yes, but, remember, he is there voluntarily.  He didn‘t get dragged there in chains, so he goes there for his own reasons. 

What is interesting here, from all we know right now, I don‘t think there‘s enough to charge her with first-degree murder, which leads to what you said, and I think you are spot on.  One of these guys had to confess, which then leads to, if they confessed, it doesn‘t affect her, because, as you know, if they go to trial, they can‘t use Canty or Johnson‘s confession against her. 

There would have to be separate trials, so what they have had to have done to charge this first-degree murder is to get one of them to get into some sort of agreement to say, yes, I will testify against her.

So that‘s got to be what‘s going on here, because right now, with all that we know, there‘s not enough even to charge this case.  Somebody had to talk, and that‘s why the district attorney brought the first-degree murder.  We are going to have to watch this one and see how it develops from here, but I can almost guarantee they have got more evidence.  I don‘t think they have an independent witness out there, so it leaves only two, those two guys.

And the other thing that you said, Catherine, was that she said she didn‘t recognize the person.  I think what she said was, I didn‘t see them.  So, you know, her defense may well be in this case, hey, if those two guys did it, they did it on their own.  I didn‘t know anything about this. 

CRIER:  Of course, then, Adriana, this is not really to sort of argue the merits yet.  We don‘t know enough.  They went to a park that wasn‘t the normal walking place.  It was 30 minutes from the house, and in the wee hours of the morning, so either these two would have had to stake them out, expecting them to come out and go somewhere, and be able to follow them, or they had information about where the two would be at a particular time. 

ADRIANA GARDELLA, EDITOR, “JUSTICE”:  Right.  We just don‘t have any information on that yet, but listening to those tapes, what comes to mind is, again, no talk of motive yet, but if, in fact, this is one of these love triangle cases, you just wonder, isn‘t it easier to just get a divorce?  These cases are just incredible to me. 

CARDOZA:  Yes.  Well, the case that this reminds me of is Pam Smart. 

GARDELLA:  Yes. 

CRIER:  You certainly remember Pam Smart.  And, Michael, in that case, it was sort of to get to it.

CARDOZA:  Yes. 

CRIER:  But she had the two young students that basically she convinced to kill her husband. 

CARDOZA:  Right.  Oh, no question about it.  Here did they collaborate and decide to kill him?  Did they know to go to the park at night, or did they know enough because, remember, Canty lived with her while he was off at war.  He had lived with her, so I am sure he got enough information to know where they went walking, but it smells like this was a plan to do this.  And if it‘s about money, and if she killed for money, and was there an insurance policy, it could be a death penalty case behind that.

But, right now, we truly don‘t know enough to know what went on here and other than to say one of them had to confess and the government had to make a deal with them to testify against her, because, other than that, I don‘t think they have a whole lot here. 

CRIER:  Yes, well, I will bet you they are pretty confident at this point in time. 

CARDOZA:  Oh, they have got to be.  They have got to be. 

CRIER:  Yes.  We will continue to follow this. 

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