The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)

Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

WARNING: This story contains disturbing content

The murder trial of Langley’s KerryAnn Lewis will continue, and could stretch out into the summer, after a ruling by a judge in New Westminster Supreme Court on Thursday, April 15.

Justice Martha Devlin said she will allow one final witness to testify in the case – Dr. Marc Del Bigio, a neuropathologist and professor at the University of Manitoba.

Del Bigio has been called by the Crown prosecutors as a rebuttal witness, to counter testimony offered by the defence’s expert witness, pediatric neuropathologist Dr. Christopher Dunham.

At issue is the exact cause of death of Aaliyah Rosa, Lewis’s seven-year-old daughter, who was found dead on the floor of Lewis’s Langley apartment on July 22, 2018.

READ MORE: Crown wrangles with witness over cause of death in Langley child murder trial

The Crown has held that Aaliyah was killed after Lewis gave the child a combination of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and then drowned or attempted to drown her in her apartment’s bathtub.

Dunham, who practices at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said that Aaliyah’s death, at least in part, was likely linked to a pre-existing condition, hydrocephalus, which means that her brain was swollen.

Blows to Aaliyah’s head, which might not have been fatal in a person without the condition, could have played a major role in her death, Dunham testified.

Dunham was called as a witness late in the trial, and the Crown has to ask Devlin for permission to call Del Bigio.

Devlin agreed with the Crown’s arguments, but did not release her reasons on Thursday.

The bulk of the brief Thursday morning hearing was taken up with trying to schedule the lawyers, judge, and final witness, after the trial of Lewis has already gone on far longer than originally expected.

Originally scheduled to take place last fall, the trial was extended due to COVID-19 illnesses and exposures among several of the witnesses, who included BC Ambulance paramedics and police officers.

Lewis’s own health problems also halted the trial a few times. She collapsed in court on one occasion with an audible thud.

Devlin is overseeing other trials in the coming weeks, and the Crown prosecutors are trying other murders.

The most likely dates for the resumption of the trial are May 31 to June 4, or June 21 to 25, the latter of which would extend the trial into the summer.

READ MORE: Langley child murder trial delayed until March as new witness testifies


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme CourtIHITLangleymurder

Just Posted

Dep. Fire Chiefs Rich Piché (left) and Stephane Dionne said they were disappointed that only one person showed up at the George Evans fire hall’s recruitment drive Tuesday evening, May. 11. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue says rural fire hall at risk of closing

Home insurance could spike across North Fork if George Evans fire hall loses fire protection status

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

A Canadian Pacific train derailed near Nelson on Tuesday evening. Photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Canadian Pacific freight train derails near Nelson

There were no injuries or spills related to the incident

File photo.
The Way it Was

1916: Phoenix holds per capita automobile record

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read