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Man convicted of murdering girlfriend while out on bond in Fulton

Jerrell Berger
Jerrell Berger

A man has been convicted of shooting his 35-year-old girlfriend to death in Fulton County last year, the District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

Jerrell Berger, who pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 of murdering Stephanie Riddle, has been sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.

Riddle, a mother of five, told Berger on July 2, 2016 that she wanted to break up due to his repeated physical abuse against her, according to a press release. Berger allegedly responded by ripping out her hair and striking her in the face with a metal vacuum cleaner.

Riddle called the police, and Berger was charged with a misdemeanor; two days later, he was released from the Fulton County Jail on $2,000 bond — which required a $200 bond fee. Berger had multiple prior convictions, including a 2012 aggravated battery conviction against another woman.

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The bond required Berger to stay away from Riddle, but he went straight to her home upon release and confronted her, according to the DA’s office. Alarmed neighbors called 911, but Berger was not apprehended.

Riddle reportedly told police: “If you don’t arrest him, he is going to kill me.”

The next day, Berger went to Riddle’s job at Hilton Atlanta Airport in Hapeville, chased her into a room she was cleaning and shot her six times.

Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney presided over the case.

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