A Saanich couple who became a part of Sarah Cotton’s family were in a state of relief, grief and exhaustion the day after Andrew Berry was found guilty in the Supreme Court on both counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his daughters.
“The verdict was a big relief to us all,” said Valerie Green, who had served as Nana Vee to Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, from the day they were born. “Justice has finally been served for those precious little girls.”
Aubrey and Chloe were found murdered in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in 2017. Berry was found naked and injured in his bathtub. The jury handed out the guilty verdict Sept. 26 after a three-day deliberation.
Green and her husband, who the girls called “Grumps,” became close with Cotton and the girls when Cotton’s own parents died.
The verdict was another step in the healing process that has been going on for one year, nine months, one day and many many hours of heartbreak, Green said in September.
“Sarah was like another daughter to us and has been a part of our family for many years,” Green said. “When her mother died a few weeks before Chloe was born, and her father died a few months after Aubrey was born, my husband and I became grandparents to her girls.”
Being part of the five-month trial, and awaiting the jury deliberation, caused the family to re-live the whole nightmare over again, Green said.
Green said the verdict provided relief mixed with a feeling of complete exhaustion.
“We are so grateful to the jury who worked hard to reach the right decision. In every sense of the word they were our granddaughters and we loved them dearly. I was with them from the day they were born.
“We are so grateful to the jury who worked hard to reach the right decision.”
Sentencing for Berry started Monday in Victoria. Berry faces an automatic life sentence. Tuesday afternoon, lawyers took turns addressing Justice Miriam Gropper with suggested parole eligibility. Gropper is expected to deliver her decision in the Victoria Courthouse on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
Watch oakbaynews.com for the decision.