Homer man's shooting death under investigation
HOMER — Champaign County sheriff's investigators are continuing to talk to a Homer woman who is believed to have fatally shot her husband following a violent argument at their home Monday night.
Sheriff Dan Walsh said deputies were called to the 600 block of West Fourth Street in Homer at 10:15 p.m. for a report of a shooting.
They found Shawn E. Berkman, 26, dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest. According to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup, Mr. Berkman was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.
Walsh said deputies have interviewed his wife of three years, Amanda Berkman, 30. They recovered a semi-automatic handgun that belonged to Mr. Berkman.
Walsh and his chief investigator, Lt. Ed Ogle, described Amanda Berkman as cooperating with deputies, although they declined to release many details of what she told them. She has not been arrested.
Three girls in the home, ages 2, 6, and 7, apparently slept through the struggle and are now with family.
Walsh and Ogle said there was evidence of a violent physical dispute but did not know how long it had been going on before the shooting. Mrs. Berkman was injured but did not require medical attention, Ogle said.
An autopsy on Mr. Berkman is scheduled for Wednesday.
Ogle said deputies had dealt with the Berkmans on at least one prior occasion.
Court records show that he was arrested in February 2010 for an incident at another home in Homer involving Amanda Berkman. Charged with aggravated domestic battery alleging that he choked her, Shawn Berkman later pleaded guilty to battery in July 2010 and was sentenced to 18 months of conditional discharge. He also spent 19 days in the county jail.
Walsh said crime scene technicians from the Illinois State Police and deputies are examining the scene and the evidence to see if it comports with what Amanda Berkman told them. They expected to interview her again.