Logistics of Michelle Hanson trial still being decided

·2 min read

The trial of Michelle Hanson, an Amaranth mother facing charges in relation to the 2018 death of her three-year old son Kaden Young, has been adjourned until March 26, as Ontario courts continue to work on the logistics on holding a jury trial during a global pandemic.

Hanson appeared in Orangeville court via Zoom briefly on Friday (March 19), where Justice Giselle Miller informed the court attendees that they would once again reconvene at a later date.

“The update I have, based on the latest notice to the perfection, there will be no jury trials in central west region before June,” said Miller, before adding the request to adjourn the matter for another week (March 26).

Hanson’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in a Guelph courtroom on March 8, but was put on hold as jury trials in Ontario are currently not being held due to COVID-19 restrictions. In September of 2020, Hanson’s trial was relocated to Guelph from Orangeville following a request from defence attorney Marco Forte, that the trial be held outside of the Dufferin County jurisdiction.

Hanson’s minivan was pulled into the Grand River on the early morning hours of Feb. 21, 2018 following heavy 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 and the car was pulled into the river.

Both Hanson and Kaden, who was in the vehicle with his mother, managed to escape, but Kaden was pulled out of his mother’s arms. Kaden’s body was later recovered under a bridge in Belwood Lake on April 21, two months to the day from the incident.

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

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press