Case of slain Victoria sisters heading straight to Supreme Court

Direct indictment means father accused of filicide likely to face judge and jury

The case of Andrew Berry, Victoria father charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his two daughters found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day, will skip preliminary hearings and head straight to the Supreme Court.

This comes after Crown prosecutor Patrick Weir filed for a direct indictment. By default, the accused faces a judge and jury for trial.

Berry appeared in court today (March 29) by way of video, this time entering after the cameras had been turned on, arms behind his back. As with previous appearances, Berry was wearing a dark sleeveless shirt. His hair was cut short and his face was unshaven.

The direct indictment, which is a legal procedure the Crown can use in complex cases and that can only be approved by the attorney-general or deputy attorney-general, means the case will skip preliminary hearings and go directly to trial in the Supreme Court. By default, the accused faces a judge and jury for trial.

While a trial date is not set yet, Andrew Berry’s criminal defence lawyer, Kevin McCullough, says he expects the trial would start late fall 2018 or early spring 2019.

Berry will be back in court via video on April 11 for the appointment of a trial manager judge.

On Christmas Day, Chloe, 6, and Aubrey Berry, 4, were in the care of their father at his apartment on the corner of Beach Drive and Goodwin Street in Victoria, B.C.. The children were supposed to go home to their mother’s house on Christmas afternoon but didn’t arrive. Their mother Sarah Cotton contacted the Oak Bay police who responded to Berry’s apartment and found the bodies of the two girls.

Andrew Berry was found in the apartment with them, suffering from injuries, and was taken to the hospital. Berry was arrested and charged upon release from the hospital.

RELATED: A thousand come out to honour Chloe and Aubrey Berry at public funeral

RELATED: Oak Bay gathers to honour sisters


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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