Oak Bay father accused of killing daughters denies he planned to kill himself

Advisory: This story has graphic details about a murder trial.

An Oak Bay father was planning to kill himself — not his two young daughters — on Christmas morning 2017, but he lost his temper with his six-year-old, hit her on the head with a baseball bat and realized there was no turning back, the Crown charged Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court.

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Andrew Berry took the stand for the seventh day at his trial for second-degree murder of Chloe, six, and four-year-old Aubrey in his Beach Drive apartment.

Crown prosecutor Patrick Weir wound up five days of intense, detailed cross-examination by revealing for the first time the chilling details of what he believes happened in Berry’s apartment that morning and why.

Berry disagreed with everything Weir outlined.

“Mr. Berry, I’m going suggest to you that in your world, in your mind, by the end of Dec. 24, life had become hopeless and unbearable for you and you decided to take your own life. Do you agree or disagree with that?” Weir said.

Berry disagreed.

“I’m going to suggest that you had no money, no prospects, lots of debt, a gambling problem and you knew that the girls were about to be taken away from you. Do you agree with that?

“Disagree,” Berry replied.

“I’m going to suggest you chose Dec. 25 as the date to commit suicide because that would be the largest psychological blow you could deliver to Sarah [Cotton, the children’s mother] and your parents and one that they would have to remember every single year,” Weir said.

Berry disagreed.

“I’m going to suggest, Mr. Berry, that you weren’t planning on killing Chloe and Aubrey, but in the morning, something changed and you lost your temper. Do you agree with that?”

“Disagree.”

“And I’m going to suggest it was probably along the lines of maybe Chloe waking up and saying that she couldn’t wait to go to her mama’s to open up presents and see her grandparents.”

Berry disagreed.

“And at that point, you lost your temper, Mr. Berry, I suggest, and you picked up that bat and you hit Chloe with it and you knew at that point there was no going back. Do you agree or disagree with that?”

“Disagree.”

“I suggest Mr. Berry, you were going to commit suicide and you couldn’t not take the girls with you,” Weir said.

Berry disagreed.

“And you thought this would be a devastating blow to Sarah and your mom, both of whom loved the girls, correct?”

“Disagree.”

“I suggest that after that, you got the knife from the kitchen, you came in and you stabbed Chloe on her front, back and front and back to make sure that she was dead.”

Berry disagreed.

“I suggest, Mr. Berry, that you then went to Aubrey’s room, where she was still asleep in her bed, and you did the same to her, stabbing her on the front and the back, and turning her over and front and back again.”

Berry disagreed.

“And then I suggest, Mr. Berry, that it was your turn and you wanted to commit suicide right then and there in Aubrey’s room and you tried to and you stabbed yourself in the neck.”

“Disagree.”

“But you didn’t die when you stabbed yourself in the neck. You felt remorse and you spent a long period of time moving around in the suite between Chloe and Aubrey’s room, lying down on the beds with them, hoping to die.”

Berry disagreed.

“I suggest, Mr. Berry, that you went back into Aubrey’s room and realized that either the police were coming or you needed to finish the job and that’s when you stabbed yourself in the chest repeatedly, over and over.”

“Disagree,” Berry said.

“I suggest, Mr. Berry, at that point, you dropped the knife, staggered into the bathroom, took off your clothes and got into the tub to die. Do you agree with that, Mr. Berry?”

“Disagree.”

The trial continues Friday.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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