Still no trial date set in Hanson case following latest appearance

August 26, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Michelle Hanson made another court appearance and a date for her trial has yet to be set in relation to the 2018 death of her three-year-old son Kaden Young.

Hanson appeared in Orangeville court via telephone on Monday (Aug. 23), where a new date for her trial was expected to be set with a new lawyer representing her.

“We adjourned the matter last time because you indicated that although you had counsel in mind to represent you, Legal Aid needed some time in order to process the certificate for your new lawyer,” recalled Justice Giselle Miller.

Despite the previous delays, Hanson said that Legal Aid is now requiring the new location for the change of venue and trial date before she can pick her new lawyer.

“They need to know where the change of venue is going to be because then they don’t pay for the travel for the lawyer,” said Hanson.

Justice Miller said requiring the trial date and new venue before having a chosen lawyer complicates the process as the date and venue are typically chosen with input from the lawyer and their availability.  

“If we do it that way, then we are going to confirm a trial of the same length that was already anticipated and we would pick the venue and the day; whatever lawyer you choose would have to be available on those dates, because we can’t then switch it up,” said Justice Miller.

Hanson indicated that the lawyer she has in mind is based out of Kitchener/Waterloo. Justice Miller said she would communicate it to the Regional Senior Justice, who chooses the venue.

“I cannot confirm that the trial will be in Kitchener Waterloo, but I will communicate that to the Regional Senior Justice who makes that decision,” said Miller.

The matter was adjourned until next Monday (Aug. 30), at 9:30 a.m.

Hanson’s trial was originally scheduled to take place in March of 2020 in Guelph, but has been delayed for more than a year and a half. The trial was first delayed due to jury trials in Ontario being put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was extended when Hanson’s former lawyer, Marco Forte, requested to remove himself as her counsel.

On the early morning hours of Feb.21, 2018, Hanson’s vehicle was pulled into the Grand River following heaving flooding, which saw the river water rise up onto the road. Hanson, police said, drove around a ‘road closed’ sign at the 10th Line of Amaranth.

Both Hanson and Kaden, who was in the vehicle with his mother, managed to escape but Kaden was pulled by the water. Kaden’s body was later recovered in Belwood Lake on April 21, two month to the day of the incident.

Hanson is being tried on charges of impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.

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