Andrew Berry found guilty of murdering daughters
Published Thursday, September 26, 2019 5:01PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, September 26, 2019 7:37PM PDT
A jury has found Andrew Berry guilty of murdering his young daughters Aubrey and Chloe, whose bodies were discovered at his Victoria apartment on Christmas Day 2017.
The verdict was delivered Thursday, two days after deliberations began in the high-profile murder trial.
Prosecutors argued that Berry, who was unemployed and struggling in the lead-up to the holidays that year, killed his two children and then tried to take his own life.
Berry was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, and the 12 jurors found him guilty on both counts.
During the trial, jurors heard how both girls had been stabbed multiple times, while Berry was found naked and injured in the bathtub.
Berry had pleaded not guilty, and testified that he was stabbed by an unknown attacker after taking the girls out sledding.
The Crown’s theory was that Berry killed his daughters Christmas morning, and then tried to kill himself, all of which he denied.
Watching from a courtroom in Victoria, where the proceedings in Vancouver were being live-streamed, the girls' mother Sarah Cotton was in tears. She told CTV News Vancouver Island's Robert Buffam she felt relieved when she heard the verdict.
Similar reactions came from supporters of Cotton in Vancouver.
Crown counsel had told the jury during closing arguments that the motive for the crimes was Berry's "unrelenting bitterness" towards Cotton, as well as towards his own mother.
After delivering their verdict, the 12 jurors retired to fill out individual forms indicating whether they have recommendations for Berry's parole eligibility and whether his sentences should be concurrent or consecutive.
Second-degree murder carries a minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 10 years, but the time at which parole eligibility begins can be as long as 25 years.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Shannon Paterson and Maria Weisgarber