Defence’s case in Oak Bay child murder trial like ‘plot from a low-budget movie’: Crown

Closing arguments at the trial of a Vancouver Island man accused of killing his two daughters heard Crown prosecutors compare the case put forward by defence to “a plot from a low-budget movie.”

Andrew Berry has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey Berry, whose bodies were found in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day, 2017.

Berry himself was found in the bathtub suffering from several stab wounds, which Crown has suggested were self-inflicted.

The court has heard Berry suffered from depression and had attempted suicide a month before the killings because of a crippling gambling addiction, which made him unable to pay his bills and fear he’d lose custody of his daughters.

Both Berry and his defence have maintained the father was attacked by a person connected to a loan shark named “Paul” to whom he owed a significant gambling debt, and woke up later to discover his daughters had been killed.

On Friday, prosecutor Patrick Weir said the details provided by defence and during Berry’s testimony last month don’t add up, warning the jury not to believe in “conspiracy theories.”

“Don’t be fooled: this case is about Andrew Berry,” he said.

Weir told the court Berry is a man who “simply cannot accept responsibility for his actions,” instead blaming a “non-existent” attacker who Berry has only given vague details about.

Instead, Weir urged the jury to focus on the evidence while not allowing speculation brought forward by the defence to distract them from the truth.

“You don’t need to know why Andrew Berry did this,” he said.

Defence spent three days this week presenting its own closing arguments, pointing to inconsistencies in the evidence and questioning the testimony of the police officers who first responded to the scene.

In particular, the defence said the blood spatter does not support Crown’s theory that Berry stabbed his daughters in their beds, suggesting the real killer placed them there after killing them.

Earlier, lawyer Kevin McCullough had disputed other evidence brought forward by the blood spatter expert, who he called “inexperienced.”

But Weir said potential holes in the evidence should not form reasonable doubt.

He went on to point the jury towards Berry’s stab wounds, which Weir said were “obviously” self-inflicted and were not defensive, differing from Aubrey and Chloe’s.

“What is absolutely clear is that Andrew Berry harmed himself,” Weir said, after stabbing the girls “again and again.”

Defence has repeatedly suggested police allowed the real killer to get away by not securing the crime scene for five minutes, and believed almost immediately Berry was the prime suspect. Weir pushed back on that theory too.

“There was no police conspiracy, there was no nonsensical master plan,” he said. “This trial is about one person and that person is Andrew Berry.”

With closing arguments wrapping up Friday, it’s expected the jury will be charged to start deliberating on Tuesday.

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