Trial begins for Victoria man accused of killing young daughters
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:45AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7:43PM PDT
Warning: this story contains details some readers may find disturbing.
A jury trial is now underway in Vancouver for Andrew Berry, a Victoria man accused of killing his two young daughters.
Berry is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of four-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry.
The sisters were found dead in Berry’s apartment on Christmas Day in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
In an opening statement, prosecutor Clare Jennings told the jury the girls suffered multiple stab wounds and were found dead in their pajamas in bed.
Jennings said they expect the jury will hear police found Berry naked in the bathtub with injuries to his chest and neck and a black eye.
He also told jurors the girls spent time living with their father and mother, who were not together.
She told the court Berry had animosity towards the girl’s mother, Sarah Cotton, and his own parents, and was also in a "negative financial position."
Jennings told the jury there was no light in Berry’s apartment, as the power had been cut off, and first responders had to use flashlights. She said she also expected some of those emergency workers who attended the scene to testify Berry asked them to kill him.
Jurors heard testimony from the first police officer on scene, Oak Bay Constable Peter Ulanowski.
He testified Cotton had reported her children had not been returned to her at a time set out by a court order.
Ulanowski also told the jury he went to Berry’s apartment and knocked, but there was no answer. He testified he tried a cell phone number provided to him, and heard a ring going off inside the suite.
Ulanowski told the court he went outside to try to peer in the windows, but the blinds or curtains were drawn and there was no light shining though.
He testified when he eventually got a key to the suite and opened the door, he could see blood on the walls and what looked like a body on a bed.
"I wanted to go in, but at the same time, I didn’t want to go in," Ulanowski testified, sounding emotional at times. The constable told the court he called a superior officer who eventually joined him at the apartment and they both went inside. Ulanowski testified the suite appeared to be in "complete disarray," adding there was "stuff everywhere, clothing everywhere."
Ulanowski then told the court he came across a naked man in the bathtub with injuries.
The defence has not yet conducted a cross examination or presented its case.
The proceedings are expected to continue for three to four months, and are also being streamed live to a Victoria courthouse for public viewing.
Cotton is also expected to take the stand at a later date.
Follow along below through tweets from CTV News Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber in court. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.