Aaliyah Rosa. File photo

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo

Accused wanted to die to be together with her daughter, witness testifies at Langley murder trial

A friend of KerryAnn Lewis said similar things on multiple occasions

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing content

The defense tried to throw doubt on the credibility of a witness who told the court she heard accused murderer KerryAnn Lewis wanted to die with her daughter.

Katrina Yu gave remote testimony given Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Yu, a former friend of KerryAnn Lewis, appeared by video link from China during a special late afternoon session of the trial, held to synchronize the different time zones. She testified through a Mandarin-speaking interpreter.

Lewis is charged with first degree murder in the death of her daughter, seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa. Aaliyah was found dead in Lewis’s Langley apartment on July 22, 2018. At the outset of the trial, Crown counsel said they would show that Lewis sedated then and drowned Aaliyah in the apartment bathtub. Lewis has pleaded not guilty.

Yu is currently in China, but in 2016 she was living in Vancouver when she met Lewis, who rented a room in a home owned by Yu’s family.

Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson led Yu through testimony about her friendship with Lewis.

“We were, once upon a time, very intimate friends,” Yu said.

READ MORE: Crown says murder of seven year old was planned, deliberate

READ MORE: Accused stumbling, slurring before body discovered in Langley apartment, court hears

READ MORE: Coronavirus sets back Langley murder trial for second day

When Lewis’s apartment was needed for another tenant in the shared rental house, Yu offered to let Lewis move in with her at a small place where she was living in Vancouver at Granville and 70th Avenue.

Similar to the testimony of other friends of Lewis, Yu told the court that Lewis was upset about her lack of access to Aaliyah, who lived with her father, Stephen Rosa.

“Every time when she talked to me about Aaliyah, about the parenting, she was always very sad,” Yu testified.

Lewis would often speak angrily about her ex-husband, Rosa, who had primary custody.

“After she’d vented her anger, she would become very sad, and she would cry a lot,” Yu said. “Then she would talk about wanting to die by suicide, and to bring Aaliyah with her, and that that’s the only way that they could be together.”

McPherson asked if Lewis ever said how Aaliyah would die, but Yu testified that Lewis never talked specifically about killing Aaliyah or how Aaliyah would die, just wanting to die so they could be together.

Marilyn Sandford, Lewis’s defence lawyer, tried to suggest that Lewis had not said anything about Aaliyah dying, only that if Aaliyah died, Lewis’s life would not be worth living.

“That’s not true,” said Yu. “What I said about her wanting to die with Aaliyah, she did say that, too.”

Yu also testified that Lewis had expressed a desire to take Aaliyah out of Canada with her.

“She did tell me that she wanted to take away Aaliyah’s passport, and bring her to somewhere other than Canada,” Yu testified.

“She said it many times, so I don’t remember the dates,” Yu said. “But she said it when we were living together, and also after she’d moved away when we were talking on the phone.”

Yu testified that Lewis also said those things during visits to Yu’s home in China in 2017. Those two visits, in September and November of the year, were also the target of Sandford’s cross examination.

Sandford noted that Yu’s family ran a plastic surgery clinic in China, and that Lewis’s trip was not just to visit Yu, but to have a procedure done at the clinic.

Lewis was unhappy afterward with a complication from the surgery.

After Aaliyah’s death, Yu gave a statement to the police saying that the last time she had seen Lewis, Lewis had turned up at Yu’s Vancouver home yelling and acting “super, super, super crazy.”

But Sandford revealed a confrontation between Lewis and Yu, of which Lewis had recorded audio.

“Kerry recorded?” Yu said.

“You weren’t aware of that, were you,” said Sandford.

The confrontation was about Lewis wanting documentation related to the surgery. But Yu said it was not their final meeting.

“That was not the last time I met her, that is not in my recollection the last time I saw her, it was in the evening.”

Sandford suggested that this was surgery dispute the reason their friendship ended.

Sandford also asked why Yu didn’t go to the police, or contact Lewis’s ex-husband Rosa earlier, if Lewis was talking about harming her daughter.

“At the time, I did not think Kerry was dangerous,” Yu said, referring to 2016. She didn’t contact Steven Rosa until early in 2018, because she didn’t know him at the time, and everything she heard about him came from Lewis, Yu said.

“When someone tells you they want to kill their child, you don’t really need to hear the other side of the story do you, Ms. Yu?” Sandford replied.

Yu testified that she thought if Lewis got custody of Aaliyah, there would be no danger.

Later, after her final meeting with Lewis, Yu did contact Aaliyah’s father Stephen Rosa and meet him once in Langley, she testified.

Yu’s testimony was heard between 4 and 8 p.m. on Nov. 10 due to the time zone difference between British Columbia and China.

The testimony was under a publication ban until Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin released it on Thursday morning.

The trial is expected to continue through next week and then resume in mid-December, due in part to delays caused by possible COVID exposures to multiple witnesses and Lewis herself.

CourtIHITLangleymurder

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey school district is partnering with Fraser Health and BC Children’s Hospital to provide COVID-19 mouth rinse and gargle sample collection kits for schools. (PHSA screenshot)
COVID-19 mouth rinse/gargle sample collection kits coming to Surrey schools

Partnership between district, Fraser Health and BC Children’s Hospital starts May 6

Surrey has seen a steady downfall in construction jobs since since September because of the pandemic, a Surrey Board of Trade report indicates. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey has recovered 33K jobs that were lost to pandemic

This is according to Surrey Board of Trade’s latest labour market ‘intelligence report’

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 25 to May 1, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Active COVID-19 cases in Delta climb again after falling for two weeks

220 cases April 25 to May 1; overall number in Fraser Health down for the second week in a row

One of Surrey’s eight outdoor pools. (Photo: discoversurreybc.com)
Three of Surrey’s outdoor pools will open May 17 for free swims, others to follow

Public swim times will be in 45-minute blocks ‘to ensure access for all’

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

Most Read