Tuesday, July 29, 1997
'Love triangle' blamed in death
Suspect felt humiliated at seeing man's family

BY TANYA BRICKING
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The story of accused murderer Roxanne Ushery is a tale of a woman scorned, her sister says.

The Mount Airy woman fell in love with Vincent Berry, wore an engagement ring she said he gave her and talked of their plans to buy a house.

He attended her mother's funeral in 1995 and doted on her, family members said.

But when she felt humiliated in front of his wife Saturday, Roxanne Ushery shot him to death in front of his family, said Angel Ushery, 36, her older sister.

"I wish she could have walked away," she said. "She's got a good heart. But this was a love triangle. And that's what happens when you get caught up in all this."

By all accounts, Mr. Berry, 43, a father of two, was a loving and generous man. Every day after work at Butternut Bread bakery, he coached sports for free at Fleischmann Boys & Girls Club in Avondale. "He was like a cornerstone," said Rob Davis, the club's athletic director. "A lot of these kids come from single-parent homes, and he was like a dad to them."

He'd buy cleats and lunches for the players and drive them home. Saturday was going to be one of those days. Mr. Berry, known as "Coach Tubby," was helping Avondale Warriors players and cheerleaders with a fund-raiser at a West End self-serve car wash.

Roxanne Ushery came to have her maroon 1995 Toyota Avalon washed, but Mr. Berry sent someone else over to wash it, her sister said. So Roxanne, 34, confronted him to see why he was ignoring her, and there beside him were his wife and a son, Angel Ushery said.

Roxanne, who carried a gun in her purse because she used to work at night at a gas station, took it out and shot him, her sister said. Angel Ushery said the shooting was wrong, but she understands why it happened. Others can't make any sense of it.

Raymond Huff can't get the sound out of his mind or the look on his coach's face. He was two steps from the shooting.

"Every night I go to bed, I think of it," the 13-year-old Avondale boy said. "Ka-pow."

Raymond and other children at the club will receive counseling today and hang ribbons in Mr. Berry's honor.

"He never looked to be patted on the back for anything," said friend and fellow coach Thomas Lovett, 32. "He walked with pride and he lived with pride."

Whatever secret life he had with Roxanne Ushery was unclear to Mr. Lovett.

"She was around when she just shouldn't be," he said. "And he just ignored her."

Homicide commander Lt. Clarence Mullis said he couldn't divulge details. Mr. Berry's family could not be reached for comment. Roxanne Ushery pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday on a murder charge and remains jailed on a $600,000 cash bond.

And at the Boys & Girls Club, children say they'll remember the happy times with a caring man who gave coaching tips even to players on the opposing team.