Possible eight-month jail term in Hudson drunk-driving case
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO Tina Lyon Adams and father Evan Adams address media following the pre-sentencing hearing at the Valleyfield Courthouse January 9.
Jordan Xavier Taylor is looking at a possible eight months in jail and a year of probation following a pre-sentencing hearing that took place in the Valleyfield Courthouse the morning of January 9, 2019 but perhaps most surprising is that the victim has proposed that the sentencing include Taylor speak of his experience as a cautionary tale to young people in the future.
Almost three and a half years after the devastating accident in Hudson that severely injured Tina Lyon Adams while she was out for a jog, she was able to finally address the court and her victim impact statement outlined how her life had irreparably changed since the accident in the Hudson’s Valleys neighbourhood.
On June 12, 2015 while out for a jog with her friend Alique Langlois Retolla, the pair was struck by a vehicle driven by Taylor following an outing at a nearby golf club. He was initially charged with 10 counts, five for each victim, including dangerous driving and criminal negligence. Though he initially pleaded not guilty, he later pled to two counts of driving under the influence causing bodily harm in both instances.
Lyon Adams showed the court an eight-minute video documenting her recovery from her extensive injuries that included severe brain injury, cranial blood clot, nerve damage, permanent affects to her memory and concentration, and multiple bone injuries in her hip, spine and pelvis. After enduring 19 operations, she is in chronic pain and says she is likely to suffer early onset arthritis, among other long-term health complications. Her career aspirations of becoming a police officer or a firefighter are now not possible.
Taylor sat expressionless while the video played, expressing emotion only when Lyon Adams addressed Judge Bertrand St-Arnaud and said, “My entire young adult life has been taken away from me,” and detailed not only her physical and emotional struggles but also how her entire family had dealt with the repercussions of the event, rearranging their lives to help Lyon Adams attend multiple doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and psychological counselling sessions.
When Taylor, now 26, addressed the court, he read from a prepared statement that said, in part, “Saying sorry is an understatement. I made a big mistake to drive my car that day. I’ll never forget how much this hurt you. No sentence can repair the harm done to her.”
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Accused Jordan Xavier Taylor (centre) will be sentenced January 28 for his role in the drunk driving incident that left victim Tina Lyon Adams with severe injuries.
It was following Taylor’s statement that Lyon Adams proposed tandem speaking engagements as a conditional part of Taylor’s sentence, a surprise to both Crown Prosecutor Hélène Langis and Defense Lawyer Philip Schneider. Taylor immediately agreed to the suggestion.
“I wanted to have some kind of closure. I’d been thinking about it (joint speaking engagement) for a long time,” Lyon Adams told the crowd of media gathered outside the courtroom. “I think it would make a huge impact on students and in schools.”
As for the joint recommendation of the eight-month sentence, the victim’s father Evan Adams said it was not long enough.
“Tina didn’t walk for three years,” he said. “If they sentenced him to even half of that, I’d be satisfied.
"I’m hoping that he’ll learn from what he did to me, and also to bring awareness to other people," Tina added. "I can’t change the past but I accept it for me, so that I can move on."
Taylor will be sentenced January 29.
Neither Taylor nor his family members would comment following the court appearance.