(UPDATE) Week 3 of Andrew Berry trial is underway in Vancouver
DETAILS OF THIS STORY MAY BE DISTURBING TO READERS
The trial of an Oak Bay man charged in the deaths of his young daughters on Christmas Day 2017 is into its 3rd week now. Andrew Berry has pleaded not guilty to 2 counts of second degree murder.
The Crown alleges Berry tried to take his own life after killing 6 year old Chloe, and 4 year old Aubrey, because he was broke, about to be homeless, would lose access to his children, and was angry at his ex and his parents.
The Defence is alleging an incompetent police investigation that focused only on his client, and allowed the real killer to escape. And we caution listeners details are disturbing and sometimes graphic.
Oak Bay Sgt. Michael Martin faced his 4th day under cross examination by Berry's lawyer Kevin McCullough -- and was asked about his testimony that he noticed blood on his fingers once back at the detachment, and believed it came from touching the girls as he tried to get a pulse.
McCullough asked the officer is he knew where the blood had come from. He repeated he believed it came from the girls. Asked if he might have had any more blood on himself, he said not that I recall. McCullough asked if there were any photos taken of him that day. Again he responded not that he could recall. That concluded his cross examination.
Next on the witness stand is Oak Bay firefighter Bradley Trenholm, a first responder. He remembers getting a call to respond to 1400 beach Drive for a patient suffering traumatic lacerations. On route he recalls receiving more information, about a male with self-inflicted wounds, and 2 deceased girls in the apartment. His crew was also advised not to respond with lights and sirens so as not to alarm the girls' mother, who was at the adjacent police department.
Trenholm told the court as he approached the suite he saw a female officer, whom he knew, exit the suite looking distraught. She turned to face a wall, put her hands on her knees and said "You're too late, too late." The Sergeant at the door appeared upset but communicated calmly, letting them know not to look in the bedrooms where the girls were, and advising there was an injured man in the bathroom.
Trenholm elected to go in alone to spare his crew mates. When he entered the bathroom an officer was there with a flashlight, and he saw a naked, wounded man in the bath, with water to about mid-chest level. Assessing the man Trenholm described lacerations and a swollen right eye. His skin temperature was in the normal range, indicating good circulation.
He says the wounds weren't bleeding and appeared clean, but the water was murky and he needed to drain it. He pulled the plug and describes the water as being lukewarm.
Trenholm testified while Berry was at first unresponsive. But then he opened his left eye and turned to look at him, indicating an awareness. He remembers Berry saying something like "kill me." Needing help to get Berry out of the tub he went to the outer hall and brought back a colleague. The two told Berry they were going to try to get him up to assist him. He heard Berry say again,"Kill me, kill me now."
Trenholm and another responder helped Barry to stand, and while he was able to get over the edge of the tub, he began collapsing and needed to be lowered to the floor. The responders carried him out to the waiting gurney in the outer hallway. That's when he noticed a wound on his neck. But he says there wasn't a lot of blood.
Asked if there was anyone else in the suite Trenholm said he saw a female paramedic leaving the suite who appeared very emotional, as she had just confirmed the girls' deaths.
Under cross examination defence lawyer, Kevin McCullough, asked who provided information that Berry's injuries werer self-inflicted. He responded it was Saanich Fire dispatch. Asked if that was approximately at 6pm, the firefighter said yes. McCullough asked if he was aware that the first 2 Oak Bay police officers had arrived on scene just 6 minutes earlier, Trenholm said he was not aware.
Trenholm gave a statement the next day saying Berry had hurt 2 other people, and McCullough put it to him that since he had only spoken to dispatch and the 2 officers on scene -- Sgt. Mike Martin and Cnst. Piotr Ulanowski -- what he knew had to have come from those sources. Trenholm responded that was fair.
Asked if he knew who caused injuries to Berry's throat, and who caused the girls' injures, he said he does not know. Trenholm's testimony is expected to wrap up Wednesday.
Meantime, another member of the jury has been excused from duty. That brings the pool down to 13 now. The trial is scheduled to last 3 to 4 months.