An appeal hearing is underway for an Oak Bay, B.C., father who is seeking to overturn his convictions for the murders of his two young daughters on Christmas Day in 2017.
Andrew Berry was convicted in September 2019 on two counts of second-degree murder for the killing of his daughters Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6.
He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 22 years.
During the trial, the prosecution argued the murders were motivated by Berry’s desire to keep the girls from their mother.
Berry, who maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, claimed he and the girls were attacked by a stranger in his apartment because he owed money to a loan shark.
Berry filed the appeal of his convictions and sentence immediately after his sentence was read, arguing the period of parole ineligibility was “excessive and unfit.”
He also argued the trial judge erred in prohibiting the cross-examination of some Crown witnesses and failed to explain to the jury the difference between murder and manslaughter.
On Monday, Berry’s lawyer, Tim Russell, told the three-member panel in B.C.’s Court of Appeal that he expects to make the case for an appeal over the course of Monday and Tuesday, before the Crown responds.
He is arguing that the trial judge erred when she admitted statements as evidence at the trial, which included statements made by Berry to first responders at the scene of the crime.
During the trial, the court heard that Berry told first responders “leave me alone” while he was lying naked and injured in his bathtub.
Berry’s lawyer is also arguing that statements made by Berry while in the hospital should not have been admitted as evidence at trial.
Those statements include testimony from a nurse who said that Berry remarked “kill me” when in hospital following surgery.
The appeal hearing is scheduled for five days in Vancouver and is being livestreamed at the Victoria courthouse beginning at 10 a.m. daily.