Jordan Taylor sentencing hearing postponed to January, 2019
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
The postponement of Jordan Taylor’s sentencing hearing over three years after the accident that changed her life came as a shock and surprise to Tina Lyon–Adams and her boyfriend Jeffry Judd.
Although scheduled to appear before Judge Saint-Arnaud in the Valleyfield courthouse for his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, September 25, Hudson resident Jordan Xavier Taylor did not appear. His defense counsel requested a postponement due to what was only described as, ‘special circumstances.’ Taylor pled guilty in June, 2018 on two counts of driving under the influence causing bodily harm in both instances. All other charges, including dangerous driving and criminal negligence, were stayed. The charges stemmed from an accident on June 12, 2015 in which the vehicle Taylor was driving struck two people, Tina Lyon-Adams and Alique Langlois who were out jogging that evening. Lyon-Adams suffered major injuries and was taken to hospital in critical condition. Langlois suffered minor injuries.
Lyon-Adams was present in the courtroom on Tuesday morning. On hearing the judge rule for the postponement, she asked the judge if this could happen again in January. Crown Prosecutor Hélène Langis intervened saying she would meet with Lyon-Adams outside the courtroom and explain the situation.
Emerging from the meeting with the prosecutor, Lyon-Adams was visibly upset with tears in her eyes. When asked for her reaction to the postponement she replied, “It’s been hard. This has been ongoing. I was hoping I could finally move on, but I can’t. It’s another three months.” When asked if she knew the details of the special circumstance surrounding the postponement, she said she did not. As for what she thought Taylor’s sentence should be, she replied it should balance what had happened to her.
“Not only have I lost the last three or four years, this has affected the rest of my life. My life will never be the same again,” she said. Lyon-Adams said she has a victim impact statement prepared and hoped she could present it in January.
Prosecution point of view
“I can tell you that we were supposed to do the sentencing this morning but due to circumstances out of our control, we had to postpone the representations until January 9, 2019,” Langis told the assembled media representatives.
As to Lyon-Adams’ question regarding whether or not a postponement could happen again, Langis replied, “You never know what will happen. I could have a car accident the night before. But we are hoping that for everyone, for her, that she will have closure, that January 9 will be the sentencing.”
In terms of the sentence Taylor would receive, Langis said she would save her representation for the hearing. “It is a sentencing principle that if you do not oblige the victim to testify, you plead guilty, you recognize your responsibility, it is an extenuating factor. But of course, it is one factor among many,” she said. When asked if Lyon-Adams would be permitted to give a victim impact statement, Langis replied, “Absolutely. It is the victim’s right to address themselves to the court.”
Road to recovery
From Tina’s point of view, the journey of reconstructing and healing her injured body and life continues. “This was the eighth operation on my left leg,” she said in reference to the Friday, June 1 operation that included a ligament transplant, a bone re-broken and realigned, and holes in the bone filled. “I can’t put any pressure on my left leg,” she said stating that she is getting around on crutches for short journeys through her home and using a wheelchair for extended mobility.
It has been a long road to recovery since June 2015 for Adams fraught with setbacks. Post-operative infections in her left leg that was badly burned by the fallen Hydro wires had to be dealt with alongside a right-hip re-installation. She told The Journal in a March 2017 interview that she had learned early on in her recovery process to remain focused. ”I discovered that if I set a goal of accomplishing one thing in my day, it made me happy. It might be something very simple, like making a phone call but as long as I got it done, I was happy.”