Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Text messages of accused in murder trial reveal anger over child custody limits

KerryAnn Lewis is on trial in the death of her daughter, Aaliyah Rosa

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing details

Frustrations about access to her daughter were highlighted via text messages sent by accused killer KerryAnn Lewis as her trial in the death of her daughter Aaliyah Rosa continued in New Westminster Supreme Court Monday afternoon.

Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in her mother’s Langley Township apartment on July 22, 2018. Lewis was arrested, and faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Crown lawyers say they will show Aaliyah was sedated and then drowned in the apartment’s bath tub.

On Monday afternoon, Crown counsel Kristen LeNoble led IHIT’s primary investigator through a series of text messages and videos found on Lewis’s iPhone after it was seized by police.

The messages included records of calls to family members, including two of Lewis’s aunts and her mother, as well as multiple text and Telegram app messages to friends, her then-boyfriend Kim Stephany, and her ex-husband Steve Rosa, who had primary custody of their daughter Aaliyah Rosa.

The primary subject of the texts read out in court was Lewis’s frustration over her lack of access to Aaliyah.

“I only see Aaliyah two times a week for a few hours,” she texted an aunt about two months prior to Aaliyah’s death.

Lewis got to see Aaliyah in person twice a week, on Wednesday afternoons, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

She was supposed to be able to speak to Aaliyah via Facetime every evening at 7 p.m., but the messages indicated she often called only for Rosa to not pick up.

She also reference court battles with her ex-husband.

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

“I’ve been fighting for the last 22 months, July 5 will be two years,” Lewis wrote in one text.

“It breaks my heart every day that I am not with my baby girl. This is the third summer in a row Aaliyah and I are going through this bull****,” she wrote to another friend. “I’ve been in mourning for three summers now.”

She had some acrimonious exchanges with Rosa.

“You wanting to punish me and make me suffer is only going to make Aaliyah suffer more in the long run,” she wrote her ex-husband that spring.

In messages to others, she accused him of being abusive during their marriage, of using drugs, and of cheating on her.

Closer to the date of Aaliyah’s death, Lewis also sent multiple messages via Telegram over her concern about money she had invested in a so-called “gifting cloud.”

Although the nature of gifting clouds was not brough up in court, they are considered pyramid schemes by police in B.C. In 2018, they were operating around the Cloverdale area.

READ MORE: Dozens of Cloverdale women involved in illegal gifting clouds

When Stephany broke up with her and left the apartment late on July 21, one of Lewis’s big concerns was to get her money back from a gifting club they had both been involved in.

Lewis referenced having $15,000 invested in one gifting cloud and $1,000 in another one.

A lack of new people being brought in, which would get her closer to a payout, was a worry, and she repeatedly expressed a need for money for legal fees.

“I’m in desperate need of money to pay my lawyer… in order to fight for my daughter in court, and survive with just the basics,” Lewis wrote in one text the day before Aaliyah’s death.

She also acknowledged in one message that she was aware there were risks, noting that her family, in Edmonton, had invested in a similar scheme.

“Seven members in my family lost all the money we put into it,” she wrote.

“To me, it seems very hopeless,” she noted.

She was worried it would be weeks or months at least before she could get her money back, and had no luck finding someone to buy out her spot in the gifting cloud.

More testimony about the text messages was expected to continue on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Earlier Monday, testimony from Lewis’s ex-boyfriend Kim Stephany wrapped up as he described how he and two friends had found Aaliyah’s body when they went to the apartment on July 22 to pick up some of his belongings after the couple had broken up.

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


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

Just Posted

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley and other communities should be concerned about credit union’s direction

Member read the fine print and does not like the proposed changes

Langley MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman. (Black Press Media files)
Langley MLAs announce multiculturalism grants intended to help fight racism

Priority was given to projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism

Jaden Lipinski has signed to the Langley-based Vancouver Giants, and is expected to start next season. (Lipinski Family/Special to Black Press Media)
Arizona forward joins Vancouver Giants ranks

A young scorer out of Scottsdale was signed to start playing in the 2021-22 season

Langley Township is planning to construct a multi-use arts and cultural centre in Fort Langley. (Langley Township graphic)
Wanna buy a piece of Langley history? Museum naming rights up for grabs

Township opens up sponsorship for new Salishan Place by the River history, arts and culture centre

Vancouver Giants goalie Trent Miner saw his lengthy shutout streak in the net come to an end in a 6-3 loss against Prince George on Saturday, April 10. (Allen Douglas/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Giants winning streak snapped by Prince George Cougars in 6-3 loss

The game also marked the end of a franchise-record shutout streak by goalie Trent Miner

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

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

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

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read