Teens to be sentenced for Craigslist murder

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Three 19-year-old men are scheduled to be sentenced
Friday for the murder of a college student who was lured to a late-night robbery
in Paradise Hills by a Craigslist ad for a laptop computer.

Rashon Abernathy faces up to 65 years to life in prison. Friends
Seandell Jones and Shaquille Jordan face a sentence of 50 years to life.

Judge Kerry Wells will hear a motion for a new trial before sentencing.

The defendants were convicted of first-degree murder in the May 11,
2011, robbery-slaying of 18-year-old Garrett Berki, a 2010 graduate of La Jolla
High School. Berki's girlfriend went with him to check out the computer for
sale and was also a victim of robbery.

The jury also found Abernathy guilty of robbery for stealing $600 from a
Navy man who responded to a Craigslist ad to buy a similar computer on May 5,

Prosecutor Kristian Trocha said Berki went to Paradise Hills about 10
p.m. with his girlfriend to buy a MacBook Pro computer advertised on Craigslist
for $600. The defendants grabbed the money and the victims' cellphones and got
into a stolen car driven by Jordan, he said.

Berki and his girlfriend were headed to report the theft when he spotted
the defendants' car and gave chase on state Route 54, Trocha said. The cars
exited the freeway several miles away and ended up front-to-front in a cul-de-

Abernathy fired one shot through the windshield of the victims' car,
striking Berki in the shoulder, the prosecutor said. Berki died about 45
minutes later.

Jordan drove off but crashed the car in a nearby cul-de-sac and the
defendants ran off, only to be arrested a short time later, Trocha said.

Abernathy's attorney, Kathleen Coyne, told the jury that her client
admitted doing the robberies and brandishing a gun but was not guilty of
murder. She said Abernathy didn't know the gun that killed Berki was loaded,
and it discharged accidentally when Jordan suddenly hit the brakes.

Categories: KUSI