A Naval Reservist is killed after returning home from the Middle East for the holidays

By Todd Peterson
Updated December 21, 2005 11:00 AM

Navy Reservist Paul Berkley spent most of 2005 in the Middle East as part of a unit charged with moving equipment from ship to shore. The 46-year-old sailor returned to his home in Raleigh, N.C., on Dec. 14, in time to spend the holidays with his family – but just four days later he was dead from a gunshot wound to the head, the Associated Press reports.

Now, his 26-year-old wife Monique and two 18-year-old males are being held without bond in the sailor’s killing, one of whom is said to be Monique’s teenage lover.

The shooting occurred early Sunday morning as Berkley and his wife were walking in a park. Police say Monique called 911 on her cell phone to report that two men had attacked the couple. She suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, and Paul Berkley’s last breaths can be heard on the recording of the call. Police found Monique next to her husband, who died later in the day.

Soon, details of a troubled relationship began to develop, even though Paul Berkley may not have been aware of any problems.

Andrew Canty, one of the men held in the attack, had moved in with Monique Berkley shortly after her husband’s deployment in January. Canty had become acquainted with Monique through Paul Berkley’s other children, which included an 18-year-old son, Zeke, and a stepdaughter, Becky, 16, AP reports.

Canty began an affair with the married woman, which he later confessed to his mother, Christine Canty.

“It bothered me because she was older, and I wondered why she was hanging out with my son,” Christine Canty told The (Raleigh) News & Observer. “He figured he was a grown man and could do what he wanted.”

Latwon Johnson, the other man held in the attack, began dating Becky Berkley around the same time. Becky is not believed to have had anything to do with the attacks.

But if Paul Berkley suspected anything was going on with his wife, to whom he’d been married five years, he didn’t reveal it. Shortly before he left Bahrain, where he was stationed, he counted down the days until his departure, and wrote that he was “still pretty jazzed (to be) going home however briefly.”