Defence claims Berry murder scene was staged
On the final day of his closing argument to the jury, the lawyer for Andrew Berry explained why his client was found naked and injured in his bathtub by police.
The Oak Bay father is charged with second-degree murder in the Christmas Day 2017 killings of his two young daughters.
"He got to the bathtub because the killer put him there," said Kevin McCullough. "All of this was done to stage this as a murder-suicide."
McCullough told the jury six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey were not necessarily killed in their beds, where they were found by police. He said the lack of blood spatter on the headboard, and the fact they suffered stab wounds before and after death, suggests they may have been stabbed elsewhere in the apartment, moved to their beds, and stabbed again.
McCullough also asked the jury to consider the fact Berry was wearing a shirt when he suffered more than a dozen small, shallow stab wounds to his chest. "If Mr. Berry was going to commit suicide, why would he leave his shirt on to stab himself?"
McCullough addressed evidence that Berry never asked about his daughters while in hospital, or told anyone he has been attacked.
"As a matter of law these are not the sort of things you can take into consideration at all," he told the court. "Silence is not something that can be used against someone."
Defence then told the jury if they do believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Andrew Berry killed his daughters and then attempted suicide, they will be asked to consider intent, and his altered state of mind.
"On the Crown's best day, this case was nothing more than manslaughter," McCullough said, but also reiterated, "Mr. Berry did not kill these girls."
Crown will present its closing argument Friday, and the case will go to the jury early next week.