A possible coronavirus case for the accused delayed murder trial proceedings Friday, No. 6 in New Westminster. (Black Press Media files)

A possible coronavirus case for the accused delayed murder trial proceedings Friday, No. 6 in New Westminster. (Black Press Media files)

Possible COVID case delays Langley murder trial

The accused was awaiting the results of a coronavirus test Friday

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing content

The trial of a woman facing accusations that she killed her daughter in Langley was delayed Friday because the accused is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

KerryAnn Lewis is on trial for first degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter, Aaliyah Rosa.

Aaliyah’s body was found on July 22, 2018 on the bathroom floor of Lewis’s Langley apartment, the court has heard.

Crown counsel said at the outset of the trial that they intend to show that Lewis sedated and then drowned her daughter Aaliyah in the apartment bathtub.

At the start of Friday’s proceedings, Marilyn Sandford, Lewis’s lawyer, asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin if Lewis could appear by video, as it was unsafe to have her in the courtroom if she is possibly carrying the coronavirus.

The judge was fine with the switch to video, but when she questioned if Lewis could hear via the video link from the pre-trial centre where she is being held, Lewis responded that she could barely hear.

After a brief recess in which Sandford consulted with her client, the lawyer told Devlin that Lewis was too sick to continue with the proceedings.

“She’s feeling very fatigued, is having difficulty hearing,” Sandford said, adding that her client was feeling worse than on Thursday. “She’s not had her temperature taken today and she does not yet have the COVID results.”

Lewis had been tested on Wednesday, Sandford said.

“She’s not in a physical condition to hear the evidence today, which is regrettable,” said Sandford.

If Lewis is negative for the coronavirus, she’ll be back in the courtroom in New Westminster Supreme Court on Monday, Devlin decided.

This is not the only coronavirus-related disruption to the trial. Two other witnesses, one a police officer, have possibly been exposed to the coronavirus through family members, the court heard.

“Take care of yourselves between now and when we see each other again on Monday,” Devlin told the lawyers and court staff.

Outside the realm of COVID-19, Crown counsel Christopher McPherson updated the court on efforts to have a witness testify from China via video. The difference in time zones and communication have created logistical difficulties.

Witnesses to be heard Friday, including Emergency Health Services paramedics, will have their testimony moved to later in the trial.

The trial is expected to last at least into late November.

If convicted, Lewis would face life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.


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