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

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

Just Posted

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

Nanaimo RCMP had been seeking help finding a 50-year-old woman who hadn’t been seen for two days. She has since been found safe. (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report that woman who had been missing has been found

50-year-old located and is ‘safe and sound,’ say police

Commercial Street and other areas of Nanaimo’s downtown are now part of a new business improvement area following a petition-against process this spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BIA process wasn’t fair to small business

Mom-and-pop shops will be challenged to pay the levy during hard times, says letter writer

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

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

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

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

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

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read