Sonora, California –– Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced today that on May 25, 2023, 51-year-old former Jamestown resident Steven Matthew Berrigan was sentenced to 9 year 4 months plus 55 years to life in State Prison. This the maximum term that he was facing. He will first complete the determinate term of 9 year 4 months in state prison before he begins the 55 years to life indeterminate term.
Mr. Berrigan was convicted on November 14, 2022 after an 8 day jury trial of the First-Degree Murder of Craig Hale as well as Identity Theft and Driving a Stolen Vehicle.
Craig Hale’s body was located on October 7, 2021, after a search warrant was executed at his storage unit at Purely Storage off Tuolumne Road. An extension cord had been wrapped around Mr. Hale’s neck five times and he was strangled to death and then left locked in the storage unit. Through an extensive investigation conducted by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined that Mr. Hale was killed on September 6, 2021, the last day he made a phone call with his cell phone. Mr. Berrigan was seen soon thereafter driving Mr. Hale’s Dodge Durango and on September 19, 2021, using Mr. Hale’s credit card at a local store. Mr. Berrigan denied killing Mr. Hale to law enforcement but made many incriminating statements placing himself at the storage unit with Mr. Hale as well as telling other individuals that he had “killed the old man” and discussing a body in a storage unit. Without the hard work of Sheriff’s Detectives and the cooperation of the public, Mr. Hale’s killer would never have been brought to justice.
At sentencing, impact statements were made by Mr. Hale’s family about the hard working, honest, and trusting man Mr. Hale was. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Novelli. Mr. Hale’s family was supported by Victim Witness Advocate Jan Fuller.
For additional information, please contact DDA Stephanie Novelli at (209) 588-5450.