Family of Cileana Taylor says man who killed her should have received longer sentence

The family of a woman who was beaten into a coma and who later died say the man responsible should be spending more than four years in prison.

On Friday, Justice Jennifer Broderick of the Ontario Court of Justice in Peterborough, Ont., sentenced Jordan Morin to four years in custody and another three years of probation in the death of Cileana Taylor of Curve Lake First Nation.

Taylor, 22, suffered a severe head injury after Morin assaulted her in downtown Peterborough, Ont., on Sept. 3, 2020. Morin pleaded guilty to aggravated assault endangering life.

For close to six months Taylor was in hospital on life support. On Feb. 26, 2021, the decision was made to remove her from life support. The family lobbied to have the charges increased but nothing came of it.

“Throughout the ordeal of losing Cileana, her family and community has advocated for Morin to be charged and prosecuted with homicide but it was not pursued,” said a statement from Aboriginal Legal Services or ALS on behalf of the Taylor family. “The family recognizes that Judge [Jennifer] Broderick was left with making a decision about what he was convicted of–aggravated assault, not homicide.

“They are also aware that she could only rely on facts that were provided during his guilty plea.  Although the sentence is not unreasonable for aggravated assault, the family believes that Morin should have received more time than four years.”

Savannah, Taylor’s older sister, told APTN News in a 2021 interview that the last time she spoke with her was Sept. 2 on the pow wow grounds in Curve Lake.

“My son is into frogs loves catching frogs and Cileana loves doing that,” she said. “So we thought it would be best to come down and we spent the day catching frogs and we were over by the marsh having a great day, we were going to the petting zoo the next day.”

That trip to the petting zoo never happened.

The next day Cileana went to the hospital in a coma.

“She was having seizures nonstop for two days and the doctor said that she may not be the same person she was the day before,” Savannah said at the time.

“I think it was more painful seeing her suffering, but the day that she crossed over and went to the spirit world was a weight lifted and it was just, she’s not suffering anymore, she’s no longer in pain.”

According to the statement from ALS, both the Crown and defence agreed to the sentence of four years in custody.

“The offense he was charged with and convicted of has a maximum of 14 years custody,” said ALS. “The family feels that more time than four years would have recognized the seriousness of the violence that Morin perpetuated on Cileana. They also feel that it would have sent a clear message of denouncement and would deter others from being violent toward Indigenous women.

“The family was very grateful for the support and participation of First Nation leaders and their community members attendance at the hearing as well as their outpouring of love for Cileana.”

Moran also received a 60 year firearms and weapon ban and a DNA order.

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