Andrew Berry continues his testimony in Vancouver Law Courts Thursday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don)

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

*Warning: This story contains disturbing content about suicide and violence.

The Victoria father charged with the double murder of his two young daughters took the stand for the second time on Thursday, giving his account of the events that occurred in his Oak Bay apartment on Dec. 25, 2017.

Andrew Berry, 45, is accused of murdering six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey – both found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day, 2017. He is the defense team’s first witness following months of Crown evidence and witnesses in the Vancouver Law Courts.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Under questions from defense lawyer Kevin McCullough, Berry described a snowy Christmas Eve with his daughters. He said on Dec. 24 they played in the snow with floaties and he kept them up until midnight, hoping that would keep them from waking up the next morning while it was still dark out – unable to pay his bills, Berry’s hydro had been turned off.

He testified that the next morning they received their Christmas gifts – unwrapped pencil crayons, pencil cases and little back packs – and had bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Berry said they then went out to play in the snow again, taking the floaties to a golf course hill nearby. He claims they returned briefly at noon before heading straight out for more play time. He claims they had returned for lunch but that the girls weren’t hungry and didn’t eat anything before leaving again.

Berry said they returned again to the apartment roughly around 3:30 p.m.

“On the trip back home, how were the girls?” McCullough asked.

“They were good. Happy. They didn’t want to go back.” Berry’s face constricted, red with emotion.

He described getting back to his apartment, putting the girls’ snow toys in the hallway and taking off their wet clothes. The girls, wearing their pajamas went into the unit.

Berry said he entered his bedroom was tackled onto the bed before his throat was stabbed. He said he experienced “searing pain” through his body and described being confused when he came to.

“I just don’t know what to think,” he said. “I don’t know what’s happening.”

Berry told the courtroom that he then moved toward Chloe’s bedroom, where he fell down and lost consciousness in the doorway.

“When I wake up, I crawl over to Chloe’s bed and prop myself up onto my knees and I reach out and touch Chloe and she’s dead, and there’s blood everywhere,” he said between sobs. “There’s just blood everywhere.”

He said he checked his room for Aubrey and didn’t see her. He testified that he then moved to the kitchen where he grabbed a knife, was thrown to the ground and was stabbed when he tried to get back up.

He described his attacker as a man around his height with dark skin and dark hair. Berry said his attacker was not one of the men he knew to be associated with the loan shark he owed thousands of dollars to.

READ ALSO: Sister of Andrew Berry recalls urging brother to seek help

“The next memory I have is of waking up in the bathtub and the sounds of police over me,” he said, claiming there was a flashlight shining down on him and a gun pointed at his head. Berry said he heard voices saying: “This is the guy who killed his kids, this is the guy who killed his kids.”

Berry told the jury that his next memory was waking up in the hospital with tubes down his throat, handcuffed to the hospital bed, unaware of what day or time it was.

“How were you feeling at that point?” McCullough asked.

“Not good.”

“What about your mental state?”

“Not good. Just not good.”

Berry said the doctor told him he had to stay in the hospital, as mandated by the Mental Health Act.

“A doctor came into the room and explained that I was a risk of harming other people and myself and I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital,” he told the court. “I wanted to die. There was nothing left. The girls were dead and I was chained to a bed. I just wanted to die.”

Asked about the hospital staff, Berry said he felt that everyone was sure of his guilt.

“Everybody thought I killed the girls. Everybody,” he said. “There wasn’t a soul who didn’t.”

Berry’s testimony continues Friday morning.

Read more on this story



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

andrew berryOak Bay double homicide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution, could be in U.S.

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

web
Mission’s first cannabis store to open doors next week

Government-run BC Cannabis Store to open Nov. 4 at 31956 Lougheed Highway

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read