Statue of Lady Justice outside B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo by Tom Zytaruk)

Statue of Lady Justice outside B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo by Tom Zytaruk)

Mother accused in Langley child-murder trial collapses in court

There are concerns KerryAnn Lewis may not be fit to stand trial

WARNING: This story may contain disturbing content

KerryAnn Lewis’s murder trial came to a sudden halt on Wednesday when she collapsed in the courtroom, just after the judge had decided to pause the hearings to get a medical assessment for Lewis.

A loud thud was audible over the audio link to the trial, and court staff called for emergency medical personnel to check Lewis out. Crown prosecutor Kristen LeNoble confirmed Lewis had collapsed.

Lewis was taken back to the New Westminster Court House’s cells to be seen by BC EHS paramedics. She was able to speak after collapsing.

Lewis’s murder trial had already been paused Tuesday, as her lawyer, Marilyn Sandford, expressed concern about her client’s mental and physical state.

The court didn’t hear from any witnesses on Tuesday, according to LeNoble, and Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin ordered that a doctor examine Lewis overnight.

However, that didn’t happen.

Lewis was back in court Wednesday, having told her lawyer, Marilyn Sandford, that she was feeling better and ready to continue.

But there was still concern from Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson about whether the trial should press ahead without an assessment of Lewis.

The judge agreed.

“The priority is determining Ms. Lewis’s fitness, at least on a preliminary basis,” said Devlin.

The court will reconvene on Friday, Nov. 20, Devlin said. Evidence from a toxicology specialist was expected that day, but it’s uncertain what will happen now.

Lewis is charged with first degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter Aaliyah Rosa.

The Crown has said they intend to show that Aaliyah was sedated and drowned in the bathtub of Lewis’s Langley apartment on July 22, 2018. Lewis has pleaded not guilty.

This was the second time Lewis’s physical health has impacted the trial. Earlier this month, two days were missed due to Lewis being ill with what was feared to be coronavirus.

Several witnesses have also had their testimony delayed because they were exposed to or contracted coronavirus and had to quarantine.

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