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

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. Photograph courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre.
Public hearing will see 123 letters in support of saving Hope’s historic train station

Hearing set for May 10 to help council decide on future of Hope’s Station House

Gordon Cook
SLIDESHOW: Hope springs to life in pictures

A collection of images from the Standard and its readers

Chilliwack volunteer drivers are needed to help get cancer patients back and forth to Abbotsford (shown here), Surrey and Vancouver cancer clinics. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Volunteer drivers needed to expand cancer driver program to Chilliwack

Drivers will need to commit to one full day of driving, or two half days each week

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Winnie Peters, centre, spoke about the loss of two husbands over the years, both of who were murdered. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls event in Hope on May 5, 2021 included prayers for men who have been killed as well. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Red dresses hang in Hope’s Memorial Park in remembrance

Group gathers for National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Most Read