Video, audio evidence released as trial for B.C. woman accused of killing daughter enters new phase
Warning: Disturbing content
VANCOUVER -- Security video and audio from a 911 call has now been released by the courts at the trial of a Langley, B.C. woman accused of killing her young daughter, as the defence begins to present its case.
Kerry Ann Lewis is charged with first-degree murder in the death of seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa. The trial has heard testimony about how the little girl’s body was found on the evening of July 22, 2018 in the ensuite bathroom of her mother’s Langley apartment.
Surveillance video from a Shopper’s Drug Mart was played at the trial. The images were captured on the morning of the day Aaliyah died.
In December, RCMP officer Cpl. Rob Kee testified the video showed Lewis and her daughter enter the store. He told the court Lewis can be seen approaching a store employee at one point, and later buying items at the pharmacy counter.
Former store employee Ava Toroghi testified the woman seen in the video asked where she could find sleeping medication.
The footage shows a woman wearing sunglasses and carrying a large, light-coloured purse and a little girl in a dress with a purple pattern in the store.
In their opening statement, the Crown said Lewis went to the drugstore after picking up her daughter from her ex-husband for one of two weekly scheduled visits. Prosecutors said Lewis bought an over-the-counter box of sleeping pills, candy, a bottle of blue Powerade, and an emergency supply of Ativan. They also said she bought vodka at a liquor store that same morning.
A surveillance video from a local liquor store shows a woman wearing similar clothing and a girl in a purple-coloured dress. Cpl. Kee also testified the pair seen in the liquor store video were Lewis and her daughter.
Prosecutor Kristen LeNoble has said the Crown intends to prove Lewis sedated her daughter and then drowned her in a bathtub.
The court has heard testimony that Aaliyah’s father had custody of her following his separation from Lewis in 2016. LeNoble previously told the court Lewis was frustrated with her access to her daughter.
The trial also heard testimony from Lewis’s ex-boyfriend Kim Stephany, and two of his friends, who said they discovered Aaliyah’s body after coming to the apartment that evening and called 911.
Stephany testified the unit’s door was blocked with boxes and furniture, and Lewis was in the master bedroom.
In the 911 call audio, Stephany’s friend Shazia Rai can be heard initially, speaking to the call-taker. She explains her friend is dating the woman who lives in the apartment, and they were breaking up so he asked for help collecting his things.
Rai: When we came here, she was acting really weird. Slurring and everything else. The phone was ringing. Police called for some (indecipherable) they were looking for-
911: Sorry, you’re, your phone’s cutting out. Police called for what?
Rai: The police called looking for (indecipherable) the little girl. So, so we don’t know what’s happening and then they would go further into the bedroom and we see the little girl on the ground and uh, th-the man that I’m with says that she is not breathing.
On Tuesday, defence lawyer Marilyn Sandford called an expert witness to the stand, pediatric neuropathologist Dr. Christopher Dunham, who works at BC Children’s Hospital. Sandford also told the court the defence has no other witnesses scheduled as of now. During a voir dire to determine Dunham’s qualifications as an expert witness, prosecutor Christopher MacPherson said the doctor is proffering an opinion regarding a “potential pre-existing condition," described as hydrocephalus.
The final Crown witness finished testifying on Monday.