People are willing to do some crazy things to get out of a little jail time. This 25-year-old man thought he could evade punishment for his crimes by committing another one; forging legal documents.
Robert William Berger was due to face sentencing for guilty pleas for attempted grand larceny of a truck, punishment for which he undoubtedly wanted to avoid.
In order to escape justice, Berger came up with what seemed like an ingenious plan. He planned to fake his own death. But according to prosecutors the spelling mistake he made on the forged death certificate was a dead giveaway that he was indeed trying to get out of his punishment.
Berger's lawyer stepped down after it was found that he submitted the false death certificate on his client's behalf. He claims to have only been a pawn in the scheme and that he was ignorant to any alleged forgery. I new defending lawyer has since taken over but has yet to make a comment.
While awaiting sentencing for left related charges last October, Berger fled the state and then proceeded to take drastic measures in an attempt to convince the judge, prosecutors and his former lawyer that he had committed suicide, including having his fiancé submit the forged document.
While differences in font sizes and styles led prosecutors to suspect that something was amiss they claimed that what truly gave Berger away was the fact that he misspelt the word 'Registry' when siting the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, accidentally spelling it 'Regsitry'.
It was later confirmed by the actual New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, that the death certificate, was in fact, a forgery.
While they thought he was dead, Berger was, in fact, alive, however, it turns out he was arrested in Pennsylvania for separate charges including providing false documents to law enforcement and theft.
Just goes to show, you can't run from justice.