WARNING: This story contains details that may be disturbing
The health and mood of Langley’s KerryAnn Lewis were the subject of testimony again Monday as her trial on charges of murdering her seven-year-old daughter continued in New Westminster Supreme Court.
Lewis is charged with first-degree murder in the July 22, 2018 death of Aaliyah Rosa.
On Monday, Lewis’s ex-boyfriend Kim Stephany continued his testimony about that day. He had left the apartment the night before and broken up with Lewis via phone and text on the morning of the 22nd.
At about 9 p.m., he arrived back at the apartment with two friends to collect a few things, including his passport.
Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson asked about how Stephany found the apartment door blocked when he arrived.
“When I tried to open it, or push it, it didn’t budge,” Stephany said. “I realized there was stuff blocking the door.”
He shoved it open and found it blocked by boxes and a bookcase from the hallway.
Stephany got no answer to knocks on the master bedroom door initially.
He remembered someone suggested calling an ambulance.
“Did you want to call the ambulance?” asked McPherson.
“Not right away,” said Stephany. “I was worried but I didn’t want her to get into trouble. I was thinking about her daughter.”
McPherson asked what he meant.
“I didn’t want anything else going against her, so she can’t see more of her daughter. I was worried about that.”
Lewis eventually answered the door, Stephany testified.
“I noticed that she wasn’t looking very healthy.”
She wasn’t speaking properly and was stumbling, Stephany testified.
While Lewis tried unsuccessfully to remember the password to a small safe that contained Stephany’s passport, he said the phone was ringing. He answered it twice.
The first time it was Steven Rosa, Lewis’s ex-husband and the father of Aaliyah. Stephany said he told Rosa to call back.
The next call was from the RCMP. The officer said they wanted to know where Aaliyah was.
The trial has already heard that the Crown will introduce evidence that Lewis had missed her scheduled time to return Aaliyah to her father several hours before that, and Rosa had contacted the RCMP.
Shortly after that time, Stephany stepped out of the bedroom, and his friend, Dwayne Harrison, went in, to talk to Lewis, Stephany said.
“The only thing I remember is him calling my name, telling me to come in.”
Harrison had opened the door to the en suite bathroom.
“I went back inside, and [saw] Aaliyah on the floor in the bathroom,” Stephany said.
Harrison also told him to hold Lewis down at one point, he testified.
“He was thinking that she was going to try to drown herself.”
He testified about how he and his friends had moved the girl’s body to the living room, that there had been a call to 9-1-1, and that he had been ushered out of the apartment after RCMP and paramedics arrived shortly after that.
He couldn’t bear to look up to see Lewis taken out by Emergency Health Services paramedics, Stephany said.
In her questions to Stephany, defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford focused on some inconsistencies between what Stephany recalled and what Harrison testified about the same events last week.
Harrison testified that Stephany had suggested forcing open the door to the master bedroom before Lewis had opened it and let them in.
But Stephany hadn’t mentioned any of that.
“It’s not your style to be aggressive or confrontational anyway, is it?” said Sandford.
Stephany agreed, and asked if he had suggested he would break down the bedroom door, he said he hadn’t.
Sandford also asked about Lewis’s plans to buy an apartment of her own and how she’d been saving money up for that.
She also asked about how Lewis reacted to news in April of 2018 that her visits with Aaliyah no longer needed to be supervised by a third party.
“That made her happy, that change?” Sandford said.
“Her mood did change,” said Stephany.
“Because that was moving in the direction that she wanted.”
He testified under McPherson’s questions last week that he had seen a decline in Lewis’s mood over the months before Aaliyah’s death as Lewis had been frustrated with her relative lack of access to her daughter.
Sandford’s questions also touched on Lewis’s relationship with her mother, her church attendance, and her health issues.
The trial is scheduled to continue Monday afternoon and through much of the week.