Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Dec. 1, 2021

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Defendant in Moulton Falls bridge case back in court

Tay'Lor Smith's defense attorney said Clark County prosecutors had offered her a deal

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

A woman accused of shoving her friend off the Moulton Falls bridge in August has been offered a plea deal, her attorney said Monday.

Tay’Lor Smith, 19, appeared for a brief hearing Monday in Clark County District Court. Flanked by a friend, she waited outside the courtroom until just before Judge Darvin Zimmerman called her case.

Attorney Christie Emrich, of Vancouver Defenders, said the state presented an offer in the case Friday. The details of that offer were not shared in court.

Smith is accused of pushing Jordan Holgerson, then 16, of Kalama off the bridge at Moulton Falls Regional Park after the girl planned to voluntarily jump off but hesitated. A video clip shows Holgerson standing on the edge of the bridge, beyond the railing, when she was pushed in the back.

Holgerson fell more than 50 feet into the East Fork of the Lewis River. She belly-flopped into the water and broke as many as six ribs and punctured both of her lungs.

The 10-second video clip of the Aug. 7 incident, captured by a cellphone, went viral online, drawing national attention to the case and calls for Smith’s prosecution. The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office opted to pursue a charge of reckless endangerment about 1½ weeks later.

Smith has entered a not-guilty plea to the charge, a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, on Dec. 4.

On Monday her next court date was set for March 18. Depending on whether she accepts the prosecution’s offer, she could be sentenced that day, or plans could be made for a jury trial.

Smith left the courthouse without speaking to media.

Holgerson said after the hearing she was encouraged that the end of the legal process was in sight but was frustrated by the postponement.

She and her mother have been in contact with attorneys through the process. Genelle Holgerson, Jordan’s mom, said they know what the offer is but were unsure if they were allowed to share it.

“If this is what happens, we’re OK with the deal,” she said.

Deputy Prosecutor Laurel Smith said in an email that ethical obligations precluded her from sharing anything about the negotiations that led to the offer.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter