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

The red rock garden in Williams Lake was filled with new rocks in recognition of the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Red rocks left as reminder of missing and murdered local women in Williams Lake

May 5 marked the National Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Kari, a 12-year-old Belted Galloway, produced triplets Wednesday, April 27. Mother and babies are doing fine. (Kelly Sinoski photo -100 Mile Free Press).
Holy cow: triplets born in 100 Mile House

Linda and Don Savjord witnessed a rare experience last week at Bridge Creek Ranch.

Fireman’s Fairways between Chimney and Felker lakes is slated to open soon, following a clean up work bee this Sunday, May 9 starting at 10 a.m. (Photo submitted)
Cleanup slated for Sunday, May 9 at Fireman’s Fairways Golf Course

Fireman’s Fairway is an 11-hole, par 3 course, opened in 1994

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The White House says it is making plans to share up to 60 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 11,075 since the pandemic began

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read