Michelle Hanson, an Amaranth mother charged in relation to the 2018 death of her three-year-old son Kaden Young, is set to enter a plea.
Hanson’s new lawyer, Hal Mattson, made a brief appearance in court on Oct. 13 on Hanson’s behalf. During the appearance, Mattson said they are planning to enter a guilty plea.
A date to hear Hanson’s plea and the agreed statement of facts has been scheduled for Nov. 23.
Hanson was charged in 2018, several months after her son’s death, with impaired driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. A previous charge of dangerous driving causing death was withdrawn by the Crown. Following a preliminary inquiry in 2019, she was ordered to stand trial.
Hanson’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in a Guelph courtroom on March 8, 2021, but was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions for jury trials as well as her former lawyer, Marco Forte, asking to be removed as her counsel.
Her trial was relocated to Guelph in September of 2020 from Orangeville following a request from her then lawyer Forte to have the trial held in a jurisdiction outside of Dufferin County.
On the early morning hours of Feb. 21, 2018, Hanson’s vehicle was pulled into the Grand River following heavying flooding, which saw the river water rise onto the road. 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 in Belwood Lake on April 21, two months to the day of the incident.
Hanson’s case will return to an Orangeville courtroom on Nov. 23 for a plea, with a sentencing to follow at a later date.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press