A long-simmering dispute between neighbors in Garden Grove led one to murder the other, who was standing on his front porch, in June 2013.
Or, shooter Robert Joseph Price was merely defending himself against “violent and scary” Glenn Ray Berry, as the accused killer’s lawyer would like you to believe.
It’s up to a jury to decide which version is correct as opening statements are expected this morning in Superior Court in Santa Ana, where Price is charged with felony murder and a sentencing enhancement for personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
Prosecutors have previously said Price faces a sentence of up to 50 years to life in state prison if convicted.
The accused and the deceased had long been at odds by around 1 a.m. on June 21, 2013, when Price allegedly made noise and shot fireworks in his backyard, which was separated by a fence from Berry’s. Unarmed, Berry went next door to complain, knocking on the front door security screen.
What happened next is at the crux of this case. The Orange County District Attorney’s office alleges Price opened the door and fired a gun, with the bullet ripping through the screen and into Berry’s face, killing the 53-year-old.
When Price’s arraignment was rescheduled later that same month, his defense attorney Bart Kasperowicz told City News Service, “To me, it’s a pretty straightforward self-defense case.”
Kasperowicz claimed the neighbors had been “throwing things at each other” before Berry came to Price’s front door “in a violent and scary way.”
Berry was so angry, according to Kasperowicz, “he tried to knock down the fence” in his client’s yard. “That kind of freaked (Price) out.”