The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 20, 2009

Berry trial, day three

Jury hears confession

Jurors listened to recordings of a 911 call Wednesday as well as to a statement given to police where accused murderer Rodney Jason Berry confessed to the shooting deaths of ex-girlfriend Martha Mills and her fiancé, Zack Worthington.

“I believe I killed them both, ma’am,” Berry told the Fayette County 911 dispatcher. “I believe I did.”

The recordings were part of day three of the murder trial of Berry, 27, of Minden, who is accused of shooting Mills and Worthington in the parking lot of her Bradley apartment just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2006.

In his 911 call, Berry told the dispatcher he had gone to Raleigh County to see Mills, who he referred to as his girlfriend.

Berry said he “snapped” when he saw Mills pull into the parking lot with Worthington.

“I know I sound like a brutal murderer, but I’m very sorry,” he told the dispatcher.

Berry, whose mother was heard sobbing in the background, told the dispatcher Berry would like to confess to police and asked the dispatcher to send officers to the home he shared with his parents.

The dispatcher was asked, several times, to make sure to advise officers that Berry was unarmed and would not resist.

In his confession to then-Cpl. Jim Bare of Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, Berry explained his relationship with Mills and told Bare his account of the event leading up to the shootings.

Berry said he and Mills had been dating, on and off, since Nov. 6, 2000.

Mills was married in 2002, but Berry said she divorced the next year and the couple had dated after that, had been back together since October and had even had sex as recently as Nov. 27.

Although Fred Mills testified Tuesday that his sister and Worthington had visited him and his mother from about 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, Berry said Mills called him at 11:20 p.m. and told him she and her brother had gone to a comedy club in Charleston.

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