Sitting in a small room in Brampton, Ont., Where husband Mira Lewandowki appeared via Zoom, the retired mother of two told how she begged her younger daughter to end a relationship with a much older man , Who believed she was a drug dealer.
The man, Joseph Chang, is on trial for the murder of 25-year-old Alicia Lewandowski.
The 39-year-old aged man was arrested on the evening of March 5, 2018, when Alicia Lewandowski was badly shot in the visitor parking behind the Rathburn and Dixie Road townhouses, where Alya lived with her mother.
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Meera, testifying at the judge-alone trial, told Madam Justice Jennifer Wolcombe that Alicia was struggling with drugs, dating back to 2011, but was “really good and on the right track” in her recovery.
Meera said that when Alicia met Chang in the fall of 2014, her daughter did not reveal much about her.
In the spring of 2015, her elder daughter, Natalie, said, “Mother, do you know that she is a drug dealer?” He said, “Yes, he is a drug dealer, Alicia told me.” I was devastated. Obviously a child who has that problem is the last person you want him to be in a relationship with, ”Meera testified.
Meera told the court that she told Chang how much she hated drug dealers and said that if it wasn’t for them, people suffering from drug abuse would not have access to drugs.
Meera said that Chang assured him that he would not sell to children, and reportedly told him, “I sell to people who are professionals.” People who use it in an entertaining way. “
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She also testified that she begged her daughter to end the relationship not only because of her work, but because of age gaps.
“I felt that he had separated Alicia and kept her away from us. It is a very sad thing with me, ”she said.
Meera also recalled a July 2016 incident in which police were called to an apartment where the couple were living on Mabelle Avenue in Toronto.
“He told me that there was a physical struggle. He was holding her tightly, ”said Meera.
Alicia moved to live with her sister Natalie, and as part of Chang’s bail, she had to live with a cousin. But the couple continued to see each other without any contact order.
“As I was seeing a negative impact on my daughter, I was concerned for her future and her ability to continue life and move on to another year of school,” Meera said.
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Alicia was enrolled in the Esthetician and Spa Management course at Humber College.
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Meera testified that for the two months prior to her murder, she had rarely seen her daughter, despite reciting daily.
“I just got more worried,” she said, adding that she didn’t even know where the couple were living.
Five days before her murder, Alicia came home, her mother told the court.
“What was happening with his recovery from substance abuse?” Asked Crown’s lawyer Tina Kim.
“She was not doing well,” Meera said.
Two days later, Alicia tells her mother that she wants to see Chang to give her a birthday present, but she can’t catch him.
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Later that night, Meera texted her daughter who told her that she was going to her apartment because she had not heard from him and she was worried. Alicia texted and said there was no answer at their door.
She tells her mother that she is not even going to see Chang, at which point her mother jokingly said, she should call the police.
“He called the police. I was shocked, ”Meera testified.
“I talked to him on the phone. She is crying out her eyes. He said that he came to the door and said, ‘Get away or I’ll put a bullet in your head.’
Meera said that she got nervous and asked her daughter to come home. About an hour later, Alicia arrives back in Mississauga, upset.
The next evening, Meera testified, Alicia spoke to the police who asked her if she knew where Chang was. She reports that her mother advises the police that her Chang has damaged all sprinklers in the condo unit where she was living and this created a cluster of water shortages.
Alicia also tells her mother that she calls her cousin, her bail where she was supposed to live.
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One night later, Alicia was locked in the visitor parking lot of the townhouse complex at 5 am
Natalie Lewandowski told Global News via Zoom that the 911 call was made by her sister, who was played on the day of the trial, after being shot.
“My sister got nervous. She knew that she was dying. She was begging for help and asking him to stop. After some time, the phone went silent. You can hear his breath. And the breaths became shallow and short, ”she said wiping tears.
Chang, who has been in custody since his arrest for more than three years, pleaded not guilty. His lawyer Randall Barrs has begun the cross-examination of Alicia’s mother.
Natalie Lewandowski says she plans to participate in the full four-week trial.
“We want justice for Alicia. We want justice for all the women who are either trapped in violent situations or who have managed to get out and survive. It’s hard, it’s so hard to get out and Alicia was trying, it was an attempt to get out for her own demise. She could not get out, ”said Natalie, who wants to be a voice for others.
“I have decided to turn my pain into purpose and want to advocate domestic violence and abusive relationships for women.”
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