Alberta domestic violence survivor devastated after attempted murder charge downgraded


WARNING: The photos in this story may be disturbing to some readers.  A domestic abuse survivor is speaking out after an attempted murder charge was withdrawn and her ex-boyfriend was instead charged with aggravated assault.Over two years ago Michelle Poulin was stabbed at least 15 times by her ex-boyfriend at her home in Wainwright.Poulin said she is lucky to be alive, and is struggling to overcome emotional trauma after suffering years of emotional and physical abuse.Jodie Nylander was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Those charges were later withdrawn and Nylander pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He will be in St. Paul Court of King’s Bench Feb. 27 for his sentencing. Story continues below advertisement The downgrade in charges is devastating to Poulin.“I wasn’t failed by the judicial system, it was the legal system that did it. I guess I will find out in sentencing to see what the judge does.” Jodie Nylander, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and will be sentenced on February 27th. supplied Poulin worries for her family’s safety once Nylander is released from prison. He could potentially be released the day following his sentencing hearing.Global News reached out to the Crown prosecutor Jordan Kerr, who said in general, there are many factors prosecutors have to take into account when considering whether to accept a plea to a lessor or different offence as opposed to proceeding to trial on a more serious offence. Story continues below advertisement One of the key considerations is whether, based on all the available evidence, there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction on the more serious offence.If there is not a reasonable likelihood of conviction on the more serious offence, but there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction on a lessor or different offence, the matter may be resolved on a plea to the lessor or other offence.It’s little comfort for Poulin.“It’s just not fair that a couple of lawyers can decide, “That’s not what happened, he just came to talk and it got out of hand,’” said Poulin.“This wasn’t a bar fight that someone got into and someone died over, that man drove six hours to kill me.” 3:34 Concerns over impact of inflation on domestic violence victims Daughter Jaci Poulin, who is 16 years old, was at home at the time of the attack and made the call to 911. She helped keep her mom alive and was presented an award from the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem Priory of Canada for her efforts in saving her mom. Jaci struggles with the downgrade in charges as well. Trending Now Story continues below advertisement “It makes me wonder, did she have to die for him to get the years he truly deserves? It shouldn’t have to cost a life for things to be taken seriously,” Jaci said.Nylander has been in custody since the attack, but Poulin said she still lives in fear.“Right now he’s in jail, and it’s my brain all the time when I go outside. People don’t know what it’s like to live in fear like that and hear every little noise,” said Poulin.Poulin said she didn’t get to pick her lawyer, and is frustrated Nylander was able to pick and change his lawyer.“I have to go with the prosecutor. He is supposed to act in my best interest and on my behalf and he didn’t at all,” Poulin said.“Everybody needs to know (what happened). If the justice system is going to let me down, everybody needs to know.” Story continues below advertisement Poulin recounts events of the day On Nov. 24, 2020, Poulin said it was a regular morning for her. As she was letting her dogs out, Poulin said her ex-boyfriend Jodie Nylander was waiting outside on her deck. She tried to shut the door, but he barged in.Poulin said Nylander lived up north at the time, and would have had to drive six hours to get to Wainwright, which is about 200 kilometres east of Edmonton.“He pushed his way in, and I just backed up… I didn’t want him to get at my daughter, so I did just stand there,” Poulin said.Poulin yelled for her daughter to call 911. Story continues below advertisement “He said, ‘Oh you gonna call the cops, eh?’ when he was opening the knife,” Poulin said.“I didn’t think I was going to get out of there, and he just came at me. Stabbed me first, twice on the side… and then I think I fell to the ground, and he was kind of on top of me… and he just stabbed me repeatedly,” she said.Poulin was stabbed in the chest, shoulder, arms, head and face. She put her hands up to protect herself, but the attack didn’t stop and her hands were severely damaged.Poulin said Nylander yelled for her daughter Jaci to call an ambulance, and then Nylander said he was going to jail.“I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or what, but I did get up and lock the door,” she said.Poulin hopes by sharing her experience, it will lead to change in how domestic violence cases are handled.Poulin, and her family members will be reading victim impact statements in court on Feb. 27. Story continues below advertisement “I want somebody to know that it was attempted murder, he came there that night to kill me.” 14 Injuries Michelle Poulin suffered after being stabbed at least 15 times. 24 Injuries Michelle Poulin suffered after being stabbed at least 15 times. 34 Injuries Michelle Poulin suffered after being stabbed at least 15 times. 44 Injuries Michelle Poulin suffered after being stabbed at least 15 times. &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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