• Belinda Pyle

Jury will decide

PHOTO BY BELINDA PYLE Lawyer Philip Schneider (left) with his client Jordan Taylor (right) and his mother preparing to enter the courtroom.

On Monday, December 18, lawyer Philip Schneider waived the preliminary inquiry of his client Jordan Xavier Taylor and chose instead trial by jury. Taylor pleaded not guilty to the allegation that the car he was driving struck Tina Lyon Adams and Alique Remtulla-Langlois while they were jogging the evening of June 12, 2015. On Thursday, January 19, 2018 trial proceedings will begin with a proforma to determine readiness of prosecution and defense for trial.

The judge dismissed the handful of witnesses who were subpoenaed and ready to testify with their written statements. Lyon Adams was one of the witnesses and stated, “I am just happy it is moving forward.”

Lyon Adams sustained life-threatening injuries and continues to recover, over two years after the incident. The leg brace over her clothes is a testament to her continued medical challenges.

Schneider is no stranger to the courtroom or to criminal cases involving drinking and driving. As a Dorval-based criminal lawyer, an area of expertise is aiding clients fight charges such as drinking and driving. When asked for a statement, Schneider said, “I haven’t let any client make a statement for 40 years and I’m not going to start now.”

Case history

As previously reported in Your Local Journal, on Monday, June 15, 23-year-old Taylor had appeared at the Valleyfield Courthouse where he was charged with 10 counts – five for each victim – of impaired driving, impaired driving causing bodily harm, having a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and criminal negligence. He was held in custody for two days.

“He’s been released on the condition he doesn’t drive, doesn’t consume alcohol, lives at his address and gets permission from the court if he wants to change address, and not communicate with a list of witnesses except to prepare for his defense in the presence of his lawyer,” Schneider told assembled media at the time. Crown prosecutor Catherine Sheitoyan had continued to oppose bail citing the severity of the charges. Now retired Judge Michel Mercier rendered his decision on the bench without leaving to deliberate.

Victim impact

It has been a long road to recovery since June 2015 for Lyon Adams frought with setbacks. Holes in her bones caused by infection had to be alleviated with bone marrow transplants. Damaged ligaments had to be replaced. Along with the right hip re-installation, she has two more surgeries scheduled for her left leg that still requires a brace.

“I won’t be able to run again,” said Adams. High impact activity is out of the question for the young woman, now 22 years old. “I don’t know if you know this, but people can only have two, maybe three hip replacements in a lifetime,” she said. On the advice of her surgeon, she plans to make her first one last as long as possible.

Staying focused

When asked in a March, 2017 interview how she dealt with the stress and difficulty of her life, Adams told Your Local Journal that she learned early on in her recovery to stay focused. “I discovered that if I set a goal of accomplishing one thing in my day, it made me happy,” she said, adding, “It might be something very simple, like making a phone call but as long as I got it done, I was happy.” Attending physiotherapy three times per week is also a source of enjoyment.

“I enjoy going because I can see improvement each time.”

James Armstrong and Carmen Marie Fabio contributed to this article.