Trial date set for mother accused of murdering twins

Posted at 8:11 AM, Oct 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-22 15:55:30-04

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- A trial date has been set for the Central Virginia mother accused of killing her newborn twins while in college 15 years ago.

Darnesha Berry is slated to go on trial on Jan. 21. in Brunswick County in a case that dates back to 1998.

The defense team opted to have Berry's case go before a jury instead of a judge.

According to CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone, the decision to go before a jury could have a huge impact on the outcome.

"If she tries it to a jury all 12 jurors have to agree in order to find her guilty," Stone said.  "But yet they (the jury) also do the punishment and sometimes you can end up with a much more severe punishment from a jury than you would with a judge."

This case garnered a lot of attention and several leads after CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil highlighted the cold case last year.  Those leads led police to Darnesha Berry, who was arrested in July 2013 and taken to jail -- where she remains.

Berry is facing two charges for first degree murder after detectives claim she tossed the bodies of her newborn twins, a boy and a girl, down a trash chute while in school at Saint Paul's College.  Investigators used feminine hygiene products found inside a trash can outside Berry's Henrico home as evidence linking her to the crime.

Last month Judge Nathan Lee denied the defense's request to throw out the trash can evidence. The judge previously ordered Berry remain behind bars until her trial.

If convicted, Berry faces the possibility of two life sentences.