Lawyer for Oak Bay man accused of murdering daughters concerned about bias

Lawyer for Oak Bay man accused of murdering daughters concerned about bias
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WATCH: Oak Bay father charged with killing his young daughters makes his second court appearance on murder charges. Tess van Straaten reports.

An Oak Bay man accused of murdering his two young daughters made a brief court appearance by video in a Victoria courtroom Thursday morning.

Afterwards, his lawyer urged the importance to maintain a presumption of innocence for his client.

Andrew Berry is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe Berry and her four-year-old sister Aubrey Berry.

The two girls’ bodies were found in Berry’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day.

Attorney Kevin McCullough is representing Berry and said it is important to ensure Berry’s right to a fair trial.

Sketch of Andrew Berry's second court appearance Thursday morning in Victoria. The case has been adjourned to Feb. 22. Berry is accused of second-degree murder in the deaths of his daughters. Photo courtesy Richard Bruce.

Sketch of Andrew Berry’s second court appearance Thursday morning in Victoria. The case has been adjourned to Feb. 22. Berry is accused of second-degree murder in the deaths of his daughters. Photo courtesy Richard Bruce.

McCullough told reporters Thursday that a rush to judgment can occur in a case like this on how it has been reported and through actions of police during an investigation.

“I think that one thing that we’ve come to see, in case after case, is we see the police holding press conferences, and we see them holding press conferences and I ask myself every time I see that for what purpose is that?” McCullough said outside the courthouse.

“The police know full well that a trial has to occur in a courtroom. They know the accused has a presumption of innocence, and they know that the burden is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So why do they hold press conferences?”

McCullough was asked if the defence would consider relocating the trial.

“There are factors that can impact the location of a trial and one of them is whether there is a perception of bias in the community, or establishment of perception of bias,” said McCullough.

“The citizens of Victoria are smart people and the citizens of Victoria are able, I hope, to ply the presumption of innocence and there’s no reason to think that they can’t.”

WATCH: Kevin McCullough, the lawyer for Andrew Berry, answers question of how his client’s case has been covered.

The case had been adjourned since Jan. 4 for Berry to get a lawyer and proceedings have been moved to Feb. 22 in an effort to set a preliminary hearing date.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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