WARNING: Details of this story may be disturbing to some readers
The emotional state of the accused was the subject of witness testimony on the third day of the trial of KerryAnn Lewis, a Langley mother accused of killing her seven-year-old daughter in 2018.
The Crown has been calling witnesses who were present during the discovery of the body of Aaliyah Rosa on July 22, 2018, at Lewis’s Langley apartment.
On Wednesday afternoon in court, Kim Stephany, Lewis’s ex-boyfriend, took the stand.
Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson questioned Stephany about the start of the relationship and the lead up to the night of Aaliyah’s death.
Stephany said he had known Lewis for a long time, and she had dated his brother “many years ago.”
They had reconnected through Facebook in 2017, and around the end of June in 2018, they had just moved in together in the apartment on 68th Avenue, just off 200th Street.
Stephany was asked multiple times about Lewis’s mood and emotions, particularly how she had felt about the custody situation with her daughter Aaliyah.
The court has already heard that Lewis had limited contact with Aaliyah, seeing her one evening a week and one day on the weekends, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“She was pretty upset that she didn’t get to see her daughter enough,” Stephany said.
McPherson asked how often Lewis talked about that.
“It was every day, she would talk about it,” said Stephany.
“Did she become emotional?”
He described Lewis crying, and becoming frustrated and angry about missed Facetime calls with Aaliyah in the evenings.
Her mood worsened over the course of the relationship, Stephany testified.
“She wasn’t eating, she was just crying more,” he said. “Getting upset, and talking more about not seeing her daughter. Gradually she was just, [I] felt like she wasn’t healthy.”
At one point, after they had moved in together, Stephany took Lewis to the hospital because she was so weak.
When they got frustrated by the long wait, they tried to leave, but he said Lewis collapsed walking to the exit, and nurses administered first aid.
“Gradually, I saw her like, more and more sad, a lot more depressed about not getting to see her [Aaliyah].”
She would also be furious if her ex-husband, Steve Rosa, didn’t drop Aaliyah off for one of the two weekly visits, Stephany testified.
The testimony also touched on Lewis’s financial issues related to a so-called “gifting club,” to which Lewis had apparently given thousands of dollars hoping for a payout.
“You would have to like put down a certain amount of money, and then you grabbed two other people to put underneath you,” Stephany said to describe the club.
Once there were enough people, you got to “the top” and got a payout, he said.
Lewis was hoping someone could buy out her “space” so she could get her money back, hoping to use it for legal costs over custody of Aaliyah.
Crown lawyer Kristen LeNoble said Monday that the Crown would introduce evidence during the trial showing that text messages from Lewis showed she became convinced on July 22 that she was unlikely to get her money back.
With Lewis getting “sadder and sadder,” Stephany testified that he was having trouble in the relationship.
“I could only be so positive to her,” he said. “I tried as much as I can to be positive to her, but slowly I was thinking that I’d had enough of this, I couldn’t do it anymore.”
He described the break up, saying he came home from a barbecue with friends on the night of July 21.
Stephany said after he went to bed, Lewis was mad at him for snoring. He went out to the living room, while she used their paper shredder.
When he went to the bathroom, he heard his dog, Guy, yelp, and came out to find the dog shaking.
She insisted she hadn’t done anything to the shih tzu, but Stephany said that was when he decided it was over. He told her he was going out for a smoke and to walk the dog, and drove off.
He next spoke to Lewis in series of texts and phone calls the next morning.
After breaking off the relationship, he told her he’d be by later that day to pick up some of his things.
“I’m not coming by until I have someone with me,” he texted her at one point.
He said he didn’t want a confrontation and drama.
It was that evening that one of the friends he brought, an off-duty police officer named Dwayne Harrison, would discover Aaliyah’s body on the floor of the master bedroom.
Stephany’s testimony is expected to continue when the trial resumes next Monday.