|For Immediate Release
Case # 06HF1851
August 17, 2007
STANTON MAN SENTENCED TO 38 YEARS TO LIFE
IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING COSTA MESA MAN
IN ROAD RAGE ATTACK
WESTMINSTER – A 62-year-old man was sentenced today to 38 years and four months to life in prison by the Honorable Thomas Goethals for attempting to murder a Costa Mesa man by shooting him in a road rage attack. Robert Charles Berg, Stanton, was convicted on April 12, 2007 of felony attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, two felony counts of possession of assault weapons, six felony counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, one felony count of possession of a dangerous weapon, and one felony count of possession of ammunition by a felon. The jury also found true sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury. The defendant also has a prior robbery conviction.
On September 16, 2006, 29-year-old Duane Kressen attended a birthday party with friends in Newport Beach. The victim and his friends left the party and a designated driver drove Kressen and five other people toward Kressen’s Costa Mesa home. While in the area of Newport Boulevard and 17th Street in Costa Mesa, Kressen and his friends encountered the defendant, who was driving alone. When the occupants in the car with Kressen began taunting Berg, Berg became aggressive and began engaging in road-rage behavior as he and the other car entered onto the 55 freeway.
As the driver of the car in which Kressen was riding attempted to exit the freeway at Del Mar, Berg cut them off on the ramp, slammed on his brakes, and forced the other car to stop. The defendant got out of his car and motioned to the other vehicle to indicate he was challenging them to fight. When Kressen got out of the car and started to approach Berg, the defendant reached into his truck and pulled out a loaded semi-automatic pistol. He shot Kressen one time in the chest from six feet away. Berg then got back into his truck and fled the scene.
The victim stumbled back to his friends and collapsed. Kressen, who had no pulse or respiration, was rushed to Hoag Hospital and revived. He was then transported to Western Medical Center for further care.
Costa Mesa police located Berg at a retirement community in Stanton. He had dyed his hair and hidden the gun used in the shooting against Kressen. Further investigation revealed that Berg was in possession of two assault weapons, several pistols and a couple of shotguns, a martial arts weapon and ammunition. Berg is prohibited by law from having these weapons based on a 1970 felony robbery conviction.