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December 23, 2013

Man charged with 1st-degree murder

ENID, Okla. — A man charged with murder in a Dec. 16 homicide told detectives “it just happened, that’s it” when questioned about the shooting.

Court documents filed Friday against Michael Laurence Berdahl in support of a first-degree murder charge state Berdahl admitted to shooting 43-year-old David Richard Wimmer.

Berdahl was charged Friday with the capital offense and faces life in prison, life without parole or death if convicted of the charge.

A second charge of felon in possession of a firearm also was filed. It is punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, at 6:48 p.m. Dec. 16, a man who lives at 413 W. Walnut with Berdahl arrived home and found Wimmer shot to death.

Enid Police Department officers noted a single gunshot wound to Wimmer’s chest and an empty holster on the bed next to Wimmer, according to an affidavit prepared by EPD Detective Shawn Ramsey.

The roommate said he had been at work since 6 p.m., and went to buy groceries and got home at about 6:45 p.m. He said he noticed Wimmer lying in Berdahl’s bedroom.

The man said he thought Wimmer was either petting the dog or passed out drunk, but when he checked on Wimmer he was cold to the touch. He said he got up and looked around the room and saw the empty holster for a .22-caliber revolver belonging to Berdahl, according to the affidavit.

The man said he attempted to call Berdahl but could not reach him.

Ramsey was able to view video surveillance from a nearby building and saw Wimmer and Berdahl entering and exiting the house at 413 W. Walnut several times.

At 5:53 p.m., Berdahl was seen leaving the residence in a white Buick Roadmaster and not returning. Wimmer was last seen out in the yard of the residence at 5:20 p.m.

EPD issued a teletype Tuesday to surrounding agencies for Berdahl and a white, four-door Buick Roadmaster.

Police in Anthony, Kan., contacted Enid police after locating the vehicle at a residence there.

Detectives drove to Anthony and were contacted by police there, stating they had arrested Berdahl on unrelated charges. Anthony police said Berdahl advised them during his arrest there was a gun in the car.

Ramsey and Sgt. Bryan Hart went to the Anthony Police Department. When officers there conducted a search of the vehicle, they found a .22-caliber, chrome, six-shot Colt with a chrome backstrap and wood-colored grips. The gun was found with two live rounds and four spent casings.

Ramsey and Hart spoke with Berdahl and asked him to explain what happened.

Berdahl said he had been in an argument with Wimmer  before pausing and saying there was “really nothing to say,” according to the affidavit. Berdahl then said, “It just happened, that’s it.”

Hart asked Berdahl whether he shot Wimmer, and Berdahl replied, “Yep,” according to the affidavit. Hart then asked Berdahl how many times he shot.

Berdahl said he shot twice in the floor telling Wimmer to get out. Berdahl said he was backing up and Wimmer kept coming toward him and grabbed the gun, smacking Berdahl in the face. Berdahl said the gun went off, and Wimmer fell to the ground.

Hart asked Berdahl where he shot Wimmer, and Berdahl said he did not know, but then said, “The chest, I guess.” Berdahl then asked whether Wimmer was dead.

Ramsey asked Berdahl whether he fired a second shot at Wimmer, and Berdahl said he was shaking and the gun went off, according to the affidavit. Berdahl asked whether that shot hit Wimmer and was told yes.

Ramsey again asked whether Wimmer fell to the ground and Berdahl shot a second time, and Berdahl said yes, according to the affidavit.

Ramsey asked Berdahl what he did after the second shot, according to the affidavit, and Berdahl said he panicked. He said he got in the car and left with the gun. Hart asked whether the gun found in the car was the same one used in the shooting, and Berdahl said it was.

Detective John Robinson spoke with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, which confirmed Wimmer had two gunshot wounds: one to his chest and one to the back of his head.

An arrest warrant for Berdahl has been issued without bond. Berdahl currently is being held by Anthony police on drug charges.

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