Lawyer warns against ‘rush to prejudge’ case in murders of sisters in B.C.

VICTORIA — The lawyer for a man charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of his two daughters on Christmas Day in Oak Bay, B.C., says his client is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Andrew Berry, wearing a dark T-shirt, did not speak Thursday during a brief appearance in court via a video link.

Outside court, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough said there is a presumption of innocence in the justice system that is important to Canadian democracy.

The presumption of innocence is especially important in cases like his client’s where McCullough suggested there has been a rush to judgment.

“One would have to be in a cave not to think that, the way that the case has been reported, the things that have been said,” he said.

McCullough said police statements about public safety made shortly after the discovery of the bodies of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey Berry were not fair.

“The police saying that there’s not a reason to be concerned about other people the day after, there’s no other suspects, that’s the kind of thing that leads one to, I think, to rush to judgment.”

RCMP Cpl. Tammy Douglas said it would not be appropriate for police to comment because the matter is before the courts. Douglas said the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit was called in to assist Oak Bay police on the investigation.

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