Double murder trial: Officer saw ‘no signs of forced entry’ to Victoria apartment

Andrew Berry, 45, is charged with the murder of daughters Aubrey and Chloe Berry

A forensics officer who processed the scene where the bodies of two little girls were discovered Christmas Day, 2017 said he observed no signs of forced entry in the Oak Bay apartment.

Andrew Berry, 45, is on trial for the murders of his daughters Chloe, 6 and Aubrey, 4.

On Thursday, Const. Andrew Harward of the Saanich Police Department, under questioning from Crown attorney Patrick Weir, told the jury how he learned about the double homicide.

When his boss, Sgt. Michael Duquette, phoned him on Dec. 25, 2017, Harward thought he was calling to wish him a merry Christmas.

“It was not in fact, a Christmas salutation…we would be going to the scene of a double homicide.”

Harward learned he would be the primary identifying officer for the case – placing him in charge of all decisions relating to the forensic processing portion of the investigation.

READ ALSO: Andrew Berry’s lawyer draws comparison to Oak Bay ‘stabbing attack’ of woman earlier that year

READ ALSO: Court hears paramedic feared for safety of first responders at Oak Bay murder scene

He didn’t go to the Beach Drive apartment until Dec. 26, after he had been briefed with other officers, including Duquette, and obtained a search warrant.

He arrived that morning to process the scene with Duquette. From viewing the exterior the building itself, Harward said he didn’t notice any pry marks or problems with the door frame – located on the northwest side of the apartment building. He also said he didn’t notice signs of forced entry on the south entrance or the entrance from the car port. “When I arrive on scene I look for signs of forced entry on the door. And those can be pry marks, they can be foot marks, they can be anything of that nature, I didn’t observe any signs of forced entry on the exterior,” he said, adding that he did not “see any obvious blood on the exterior of the building.”

Harward said Duquette entered unit 103 ahead of him with a video recorder – going from room to room and videoing an overview of the scene. Harward followed, taking ‘overall shots’ to create a record of the unit as it was upon their arrival. He observed the front door to the suite for signs of forced entry, and said he again observed none.

“When you were taking your exterior photos, did you observe anything that suggested further examination was necessary outside of the suite?” Weir asked.

“No,” Harward responded.

“Can you tell us what sorts of things would lead you to believe further investigation might be necessary outside of the suite?”

Harward said: “If I had seen a pry mark on the front door then it would have caused me to take a closer look at the front door. A lot of the evidence that I find at break and enters is usually at the point of entry.”

As the officers processed the scene, the bodies of Chloe and Aubrey were still in their beds where they had been discovered the day prior.

Harward entered Aubrey’s room and noted blood on the bed, on the walls, on the floor and splattered across the horizontal blinds, which he said were not broken or deformed.

“Why are you looking at the window area?” asked Weir.

“I’m still at this point, trying to determine if there was a point of entry into the suite,” Harward said. “If the door doesn’t show signs of forced entry, then you start looking at the windows.”

Harward testified that, as he continued to process the scene he found that windows in the suite – one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in the dining area – were all in a “locked position” with the levers facing downwards.

A window in the kitchen dining room area faced south onto a pathway, and a number of small items including a snowman figurine, sat undisturbed on the sill.

READ ALSO: Defence lawyer requests break as blood-soaked clothing shown to courtroom in Berry murder trial

READ ALSO: Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Satisfied with his examination of windows from the inside, Harward said he did not examine the exterior of the windows.

Harward said he did not swab every blood sample, or the “pink floaties” in the hallway, moved there by first responders. He did not swab the carpet at the entrance, where he said there may have been cross-contamination from the number of first responders on scene the day prior. And in the absence of information of someone fleeing the scene, Harward did not cordon off areas around the outside of the apartment building for processing.

Harward told the courtroom that based on his assessment of the points of entries, he did not believe that there would be any fingerprints found on scene that did not belong to Berry, Aubrey or Chloe.

Cross-examination of Const. Harward continues Friday morning.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cemetery fees equalized for all South Cariboo residents

‘We came up with an average rate from all of the communities’

RCMP constables receive Award of Valour for actions during 2018 mudslides

They walked in four kilometres over several mudslides

Handcrafted items galore at the Winter Arts and Crafts Fair in 100 Mile House

Residents of the South Cariboo will have a chance to pick up… Continue reading

$125,000 backhoe recovered by RCMP

Backhoe was reported missing on Nov. 18

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

PHOTOS: NHL honours B.C. grandma’s battle against cancer in special match

Shea Theodore’s grandmother Kay Darlington dropped the puck at a special ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ game

University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

Most Read