Hanson trial to take place in Kitchener; start date remains unclear

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ORANGEVILLE – The trial of Michelle Hanson, an Amaranth mother facing charges in relation to the 2018 death of her three-year-old son Kaden Young, will now be held in Kitchener.

On Aug. 30 Hanson appeared virtually in Orangeville court, where Justice Giselle Miller confirmed the venue location.

A date for the trial has not yet been determined, but it is expected to take place this fall.

“The Crown responded with their availability, and the Kitchener courthouse can accommodate us this fall, but I’ve not received any information from you, Ms. Hanson, with respect to your lawyer’s availability,” said Justice Miller in court on Monday morning.

Hanson said the lawyer she is in contact with is waiting to receive the disclosure, a copy of the evidence collected by the Crown and police, and did not want to be read into the record.

“I did speak to potential counsel on Friday, and he wanted some part of disclosure before making a decision about whether he would act for Ms. Hanson,” said Danielle Garbaty, assistant crown attorney.

The matter was adjourned until Sept. 13 at 9:30am, when a date for the trial is expected to be announced.

KADEN YOUNG

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.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 21, 2018, Hanson’s vehicle was pulled into the Grand River following heavy flooding, which saw the river water rise up onto the road. Police said Hanson 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 into the water.

Kaden’s body was recovered in Belwood Lake on April 21, two months to the day of the incident.

In July of 2019, Hanson was ordered to stand trial on two charges related to the death of her son: impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.

*Paula Brown is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter with the Orangeville Banner.