With no weapon found, rescuers were cautious at Oak Bay murder scene: firefighter
Six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey were found dead in Berry's 1400 Beach Drive apartment on Christmas Day 2017. (File photo)
Published Thursday, May 2, 2019 1:45PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 3, 2019 1:52PM PDT
Warning: This story contains graphic details.
An Oak Bay firefighter took the stand in the double-murder trial of Andrew Berry on Thursday, testifying to rescuers' concerns about the whereabouts of the weapon allegedly used in the attack.
Berry is accused of killing his daughters, six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey, whose bodies were found in Berry's 1400 Beach Drive apartment on Christmas Day 2017.
Berry faces two second-degree murder charges. He has pleaded not guilty to both.
Firefighter Cody Brown was one of the first rescuers to enter Berry's apartment that night. He testified to tending to Berry, who was found naked and gravely injured in his bathtub.
Brown corroborated much of the testimony of fellow firefighter Bradley Trenholm, who was the acting lieutenant riding with Brown to the scene that night.
Both firefighters testified to attending the medical assistance call for "traumatic lacerations" just before 6 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2017.
Brown testified that while heading to the scene Trenholm received a call alerting the crew that there were two dead people and one viable patient at the scene.
Upon entering Berry's unit, Brown testified to seeing an "atypical" amount of blood on the floor and walls, more than he would have expected for a lacerations call, he said.
Brown said he was directed to the unit's bathroom and told to avoid the bedrooms where there were two bodies.
Brown said he joined Trenholm at the side of the bathtub and was told the patient was not alert but had communicated with the senior firefighter. Brown said he was also told that Berry had caused the injuries to himself.
He then testified to squeezing Berry's knee while he was in the tub and asking him his name.
Brown said Berry then told him, "Leave me, kill me" – he recalled hearing that multiple times – to which Brown replied, "I can't do that. I'm here to help," he said.
Berry's defence lawyer has challenged prior testimony that his client could have made similar statements that night, citing the seriousness of the laceration to Berry's throat at the time.
Brown has not yet been cross-examined.
Brown told the court that aside from blood, the water in the bathtub also contained debris, notably Barbie dolls.
The firefighter testified that before removing Berry from the tub, he overheard police saying that no weapon had been found at the scene yet. He said rescuers took this caution to heart, given the nature of Berry's wounds and the relative darkness and chaos of the scene.
The trial resumes with more testimony expected from Brown at 2 p.m. Thursday.