WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing
Closing arguments in the trial of a Vancouver Island man accused of murdering his two young daughters got underway in Vancouver on Tuesday.
Andrew Berry has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey Berry, whose bodies were found in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day, 2017.
On Tuesday, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough stressed that jurors should not give Crown prosecutors the benefit of the doubt, describing the case as “completely circumstantial.”
“The accused never has to prove what happened,” McCullough told the jury. “The burden is on the Crown.”
McCullough spent much of the day highlighting inconsistencies with forensic evidence produced in the trial, arguing it does not prove Berry’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
WATCH: More evidence released in Andrew Berry trial
He also told the jury that police had failed to check for fingerprints on two alleged murder weapons: a baseball bat and a knife.
The court has previously heard that the two girls were stabbed more than 50, and that Chloe was struck with a bat.
Berry was found naked in the bathtub suffering from stab wounds, which Crown has characterized as a suicide attempt. McCullough reminded the jury that no DNA from the children was found on Berry’s clothing, and no evidence was presented to prove his stab wounds were self-inflicted.
He questioned the reliability of a blood spatter expert, suggesting she was inexperienced and that her work was riddled with inconsistencies, and told the jury no blood trail was found between the apartment’s bedrooms and other rooms.
WATCH: Andrew Berry faces fifth day of cross examination
“It’s not good enough to call him a liar and then do nothing to prove it,” said McCullough.
“Motive is pure speculation.”
Berry’s lawyer previously presented a theory that the girls were killed by someone else, potentially over gambling debts the accused had racked up with a Vancouver loan shark.
Earlier in the trial, he told the jury police had made a critical mistake by leaving the crime scene unattended for about five minutes, leaving plenty of time for the real killer to escape.
Crown has presented a case that Berry committed the killings amid mounting debt, depression and fear he would lose access to the girls.
Defence is slated to continue its closing arguments on Wednesday, with closing arguments expected to wrap by the weekend.