Andrew Berry has been found guilty on both counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his two daughters.
Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found murdered in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in 2017. Berry was found naked and injured in his bathtub.
A 12-person jury reached the verdict on Thursday evening after a nearly six-month trial in Vancouver.
At the centre of this trial is the lives of two, playful, joyful little girls. I refer to a quote from Rev. Michelle Slater of the Oak Bay United Church. At a candlelit vigil for the girls on Dec. 27, 2017, she said, (1/2) pic.twitter.com/daG8Z3EGJM
— Nina Grossman (@NinaGrossman) September 27, 2019
Berry hung his head and spoke quietly with his lawyers as the court took a short break.
The decision was broadcast to a packed courthouse in Victoria, where family and friends of the girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton, shared tears, hugs and a palpable sense of relief.
Justice Miriam Gropper told jury members she knew they had been through a “great deal” in reaching their unanimous verdict before she gave them time to consider whether they wanted to make a recommendation on Berry’s eligibility for parole.
Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, but parole eligibility ranges from 10 to 25 years.
The verdicts come with potential life sentences. The judge has the final decision, but the jury was told they can advise on parole eligibility and whether the sentences are served consecutively.
Of the jury, six recommended 15 years of parole ineligibility consecutively for each murder count, two recommended 10 years served concurrently, and four had no recommendations.
Sentencing will occur in the Victoria Courthouse, where the judge will hear victim impact statements and determine Berry’s sentence. His next court appearance will be by video Oct. 9 to set a date for the sentencing hearing.
– with a file from The Canadian Press
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