(WJBK) - The court bound over a case Monday against a 22-year-old man accused of intentionally hitting and killing a police officer after prosecution played graphic surveillance footage and a recording of the suspect allegedly making threats.
Following his preliminary hearing, Christopher Berak was bound over on first-degree premeditated homicide and murder of a peace officer charges, accused of purposefully striking Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Overall with his car and killing him.
Police say on Thanksgiving Day, Berak entered the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department and began making threats. Berak left the building and the chase began, leading officers westbound to I-69, then southbound to M-15 into Oakland County.
At about 12:30 a.m., 50-year-old Deputy Overall was assisting other officers in the chase by deploying stop sticks on M-15 near the intersection of Seymour Lake Rd in Brandon Township. Police say that's when Berak turned his car and intentionally struck Overall as he stood on the side of the road.
An audio recording on Berak's phone was played in court, which police say was recorded on Nov. 22 after he received a speeding ticket - the day before the incident.
Part of the recording stated: "I am Satan. But I am also God. I am the voice of the creator. I am the voice you hear. The voice you hear is the creator who created you. And I am here to take back what is mine. So in my laws I state that there will be no more court systems. There will be no more anything. ... and if you touch me I will kill you. This is a message for the court. I will kill anybody in the courtroom who touches me or approaches me in any manner that is aggressive or if anyone puts their hands on me I will kill them. I will sentence a fireball into their [crown] and destroy them in front of your face."
Also used as evidence was dash cam video of the incident from two separate police vehicles.
Defense argued that there's no definitive proof Berak saw Overall on the side of the street and that the suspect may have swerved to avoid the stop sticks. Attorneys also said that in his recorded threats, Berak said he would hurt anyone who got in his way. Defense says prior to striking Deputy Overall, Berak had encountered many officers that he did not harm.
Prosecution responded that the defendant had complete control the vehicle and wasn't seen on video swerving to avoid the stop sticks, but aimed directly at Deputy Overall.
The judge found that prosecution established probable cause and bound the case over.