Michelle Hanson, an Amaranth mother facing charges in relation to the 2018 death of her three-year-old-son Kaden Young will see a date and venue set for her trial in late August.
Hanson made a brief appearance in Orangeville court by phone on Monday (June 21), to provide information on obtaining a new lawyer. At her last court appearance on June 8 Hanson’s former lawyer, Marco Forte, brought forward an application to remove himself as her counsel, which was not opposed by Hanson.
Hanson told Justice Giselle Miller at the court appearance that she has a new lawyer in mind, but is waiting for approval from Legal Aid.
“I’ve spoken with Legal Aid and they’ve sent the application in to change my lawyer, but it takes up to four-to-six weeks,” said Hanson.
Justice Miller remanded Hanson to appear in court again on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. where a trial date and venue will be set.
Hanson’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in a Guelph courtroom on March 8, but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on jury trials in Ontario. Hanson’s trial was relocated to Guelph from Orangeville in September 2020 following a request from her former lawyer 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 river water rise up onto the roadway. Police said Hanson 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 of 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