IHIT officers on scene at the Langley Township apartment building where the body of Aaliyah Rosa was found in July, 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)

IHIT officers on scene at the Langley Township apartment building where the body of Aaliyah Rosa was found in July, 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)

COVID, health delays won’t stop Langley murder trial, judge says

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis is to resume Dec. 14

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing content

The accused in a Langley child murder case is fit to continue with the trial, a judge decided Friday, but COVID-19 and other health issues have already caused multiple delays.

The accused, KerryAnn Lewis, was examined by phone by a doctor with the Forensic Psychiatric Service Friday morning, Justice Martha Devlin was told in a New Westminster courtroom.

The doctor did not see any reason why Lewis was not fit to continue with the trial, despite the fact that Lewis collapsed in court on Wednesday morning.

“Our instructions are that she [Lewis] wishes to proceed,” said Marilyn Sandford, the defense lawyer.

Lewis has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter Aaliyah Rosa.

Aaliyah was found dead inside Lewis’s Langley apartment on July 22, 2018. The Crown prosecutors said at the outset of the case that they intend to prove that Lewis sedated and then drowned Aaliyah in the apartment bathtub.

Multiple witnesses have testified that Lewis had been upset about her lack of access to her daughter, who lived with her father.

READ MORE: Accused in Langley child-murder trial collapses in court

READ MORE: Accused wanted to die to be together with her daughter, witness testifies

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Lewis fainted in court shortly after Devlin had announced plans to pause the trial to have the accused seen by a doctor.

A loud thud was audible over the audio link to the trial, and court staff called for emergency medical personnel to check Lewis out.

She was apparently speaking after her collapse, and was seen by paramedics in courthouse cells.

The incident was the latest in a series of health-related delays that have struck the trial, involving both Lewis, who has been too ill to attend court on a few days, as well as witnesses.

Multiple witnesses, including one of the Emergency Health Services paramedics, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have had to quarantine after an exposure.

The latest to be affected was the toxicology expert who was scheduled to testify on Friday morning, but was awaiting a COVID test result after developing symptoms, the court heard.

Sandford noted that there was no sign the COVID-related problems would dissipate by mid-December, when the trial is scheduled to resume.

“It’s possible the COVID situation may actually be worse,” she noted.

Devlin insisted the trial would conclude despite the delays.

“It will take the time it takes,” the judge said.

The trial is now scheduled to resume on Dec. 14 for a week of testimony.

“Hopefully, everyone will stay healthy until then,” said Devlin.

The judge is expected to hear from paramedics, the toxicologist, and staff at two stores where Lewis stopped with Aaliyah the morning before the child’s death, including a drug store and a liquor store.

If the trial takes longer, Devlin said a week can be reserved in January to finish hearing the evidence.

CourtIHITLangleymurder

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

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP are investigating a reported assault at Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Shane MacKichan photos)
UPDATE: Two youths arrested after assault with a weapon at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey

School placed on a ‘hold and secure’ until safety of all students confirmed

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey to pony up one-third of cost to cover Cloverdale lacrosse box in 2022

This will be at the Cloverdale Athletic Park at 64th Avenue and 168th Street

Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)
Mayor asks Fraser Health to reconcider North Delta vaccination site

Harvie wants a North Delta clinic to complement the South Delta location

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read