WARNING: This story contains details about a double murder and mentions of suicide.
The Oak Bay man convicted of killing his daughters on Christmas Day in 2017 has had his appeal dismissed.
Andrew Berry was found guilty in September 2019 of killing his daughters, Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, who were found stabbed to death in their beds in Berry’s home on Christmas Day 2017.
In December 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison for the second-degree murders.
Berry maintained his innocence throughout the nearly six-month trial, heard before a jury in Vancouver, and sought a retrial. His appeal was heard in June by the three-judge panel of Justices John Hunter, Patrice Abrioux and Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten.
The judgement upholding his conviction was posted Wednesday, Nov. 23.
On Dec. 25, 2017, both young girls were found dead in their beds at their father’s Oak Bay home after their mother called police when the girls did not return.
During the trial, a blood spatter analyst and crime scene examination specialist testified drip trails, stains and spatter marks indicated the girls had been killed in their beds.
In June, a lawyer handling Berry’s appeal argued there was a series of errors in pre-trial rulings where the trial judge allowed statements Berry made when first responders found him bleeding in his bathtub and later to hospital staff and his sister. The lawyer also took issue with the use of Berry’s out-of-court statements and evidence of a suicide attempt, saying there could be an explanation other than guilt. The defence also alleged errors in mid-trial rulings that limited cross-examination over the adequacy of the police investigation, and that the trial judge didn’t properly advise the jury on how to weigh Berry’s silence in the wake of his daughters’ murders.
There were no errors in the trial judge’s charge to the jury over out-of-court statements, the evidence of his attempted suicide, or the instructions on manslaughter, the appeal judgement reads. The panel found the trial judge, Justice Miriam Gropper, carefully instructed the jury on each point and it was up to the jury to decide how to assess the relevant evidence and what weight to give to it.
The panel also found no error of law or principle in the mid-trial rulings over Berry’s silence or the adequacy of the investigation.
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