Aaliyah Rosa. File photo

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo

Accused wanted to die to be together with her daughter, witness testifies at Langley murder trial

A friend of KerryAnn Lewis said similar things on multiple occasions

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing content

The defense tried to throw doubt on the credibility of a witness who told the court she heard accused murderer KerryAnn Lewis wanted to die with her daughter.

Katrina Yu gave remote testimony given Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Yu, a former friend of KerryAnn Lewis, appeared by video link from China during a special late afternoon session of the trial, held to synchronize the different time zones. She testified through a Mandarin-speaking interpreter.

Lewis is charged with first degree murder in the death of her daughter, seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa. Aaliyah was found dead in Lewis’s Langley apartment on July 22, 2018. At the outset of the trial, Crown counsel said they would show that Lewis sedated then and drowned Aaliyah in the apartment bathtub. Lewis has pleaded not guilty.

Yu is currently in China, but in 2016 she was living in Vancouver when she met Lewis, who rented a room in a home owned by Yu’s family.

Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson led Yu through testimony about her friendship with Lewis.

“We were, once upon a time, very intimate friends,” Yu said.

READ MORE: Crown says murder of seven year old was planned, deliberate

READ MORE: Accused stumbling, slurring before body discovered in Langley apartment, court hears

READ MORE: Coronavirus sets back Langley murder trial for second day

When Lewis’s apartment was needed for another tenant in the shared rental house, Yu offered to let Lewis move in with her at a small place where she was living in Vancouver at Granville and 70th Avenue.

Similar to the testimony of other friends of Lewis, Yu told the court that Lewis was upset about her lack of access to Aaliyah, who lived with her father, Stephen Rosa.

“Every time when she talked to me about Aaliyah, about the parenting, she was always very sad,” Yu testified.

Lewis would often speak angrily about her ex-husband, Rosa, who had primary custody.

“After she’d vented her anger, she would become very sad, and she would cry a lot,” Yu said. “Then she would talk about wanting to die by suicide, and to bring Aaliyah with her, and that that’s the only way that they could be together.”

McPherson asked if Lewis ever said how Aaliyah would die, but Yu testified that Lewis never talked specifically about killing Aaliyah or how Aaliyah would die, just wanting to die so they could be together.

Marilyn Sandford, Lewis’s defence lawyer, tried to suggest that Lewis had not said anything about Aaliyah dying, only that if Aaliyah died, Lewis’s life would not be worth living.

“That’s not true,” said Yu. “What I said about her wanting to die with Aaliyah, she did say that, too.”

Yu also testified that Lewis had expressed a desire to take Aaliyah out of Canada with her.

“She did tell me that she wanted to take away Aaliyah’s passport, and bring her to somewhere other than Canada,” Yu testified.

“She said it many times, so I don’t remember the dates,” Yu said. “But she said it when we were living together, and also after she’d moved away when we were talking on the phone.”

Yu testified that Lewis also said those things during visits to Yu’s home in China in 2017. Those two visits, in September and November of the year, were also the target of Sandford’s cross examination.

Sandford noted that Yu’s family ran a plastic surgery clinic in China, and that Lewis’s trip was not just to visit Yu, but to have a procedure done at the clinic.

Lewis was unhappy afterward with a complication from the surgery.

After Aaliyah’s death, Yu gave a statement to the police saying that the last time she had seen Lewis, Lewis had turned up at Yu’s Vancouver home yelling and acting “super, super, super crazy.”

But Sandford revealed a confrontation between Lewis and Yu, of which Lewis had recorded audio.

“Kerry recorded?” Yu said.

“You weren’t aware of that, were you,” said Sandford.

The confrontation was about Lewis wanting documentation related to the surgery. But Yu said it was not their final meeting.

“That was not the last time I met her, that is not in my recollection the last time I saw her, it was in the evening.”

Sandford suggested that this was surgery dispute the reason their friendship ended.

Sandford also asked why Yu didn’t go to the police, or contact Lewis’s ex-husband Rosa earlier, if Lewis was talking about harming her daughter.

“At the time, I did not think Kerry was dangerous,” Yu said, referring to 2016. She didn’t contact Steven Rosa until early in 2018, because she didn’t know him at the time, and everything she heard about him came from Lewis, Yu said.

“When someone tells you they want to kill their child, you don’t really need to hear the other side of the story do you, Ms. Yu?” Sandford replied.

Yu testified that she thought if Lewis got custody of Aaliyah, there would be no danger.

Later, after her final meeting with Lewis, Yu did contact Aaliyah’s father Stephen Rosa and meet him once in Langley, she testified.

Yu’s testimony was heard between 4 and 8 p.m. on Nov. 10 due to the time zone difference between British Columbia and China.

The testimony was under a publication ban until Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin released it on Thursday morning.

The trial is expected to continue through next week and then resume in mid-December, due in part to delays caused by possible COVID exposures to multiple witnesses and Lewis herself.

CourtIHITLangleymurder

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

Just Posted

.
LETTER: People must change their actions to slow global warming, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

.
LETTER: Glaciers disappearing faster than in previous decades, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Prince Philip and then Princess Elizabeth – then married only four years and heir to the throne – waved to thousands who gathered in Fort Langley in Oct. 26, 1951 to see the royal couple. (Langley Centennial Museum archives/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langleyites bid adieu to Prince Philip

Local historians and the Trinity Western University president share thoughts and memories

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

Keith Gibson of Preston GM with a Chevrolet Bolt. Electric cars made up almost 10 per cent of new light vehicle sales in B.C. last year, the government says. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
More electric cars, charging stations coming to Langley

Car dealers and local governments are prepping for an EV future

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

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

(File photo)
Youths confront man seen masturbating while walking his dog

Police say it happened Thursday (April 8) on walking path in Surrey

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Most Read