Chair girl pleads guilty to mischief endangering life – CTV News

\Chair girl\ pleads guilty to mischief endangering life - CTV News
HUNTER: OMG! Chair Girl crashes to earth with guilty plea
TORONTO – A 19-year-old woman who threw a chair off a downtown Toronto high-rise balcony over a busy highway earlier this year has pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life.

Marcella Zoia arrived at Old City Hall through a back entrance just before 10 a.m. on Friday wearing all black and large sunglasses.

She then entered a courtroom and pleaded guilty to a February incident that was caught on camera and shared widely online.

Following the mass-circulation of the video, Toronto police urged the woman to come forward and identify herself.

She was subsequently charged with mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property under $5,000 and common nuisance.

Following her guilty plea to the one charge on Friday morning, her lawyer Gregory Leslie told reporters the young woman was remorseful.

This was the first step – I think this was a necessary step, her guilty plea – that does show that she is remorseful for her actions, he said.

Video: Toronto “chair girl” pleads guilty, seeks a suspended sentence

We could have gone to trial, in fact there were issues that allowed us to go to trial but the video is the video so based on that she entered a plea of guilty.

Her lawyer confirmed that the two additional charges she was facing will be dropped at a later date.

She is a young lady who made a mistake, he said. When you deal with persons her age we look at, one of the possibilities, or one of the factors that the judge has to examine is the issue of rehabilitation and she is, in my opinion, already a changed woman and she will be doing much better.

Of course its a possibility, he said. Its anywhere between a suspended sentence, which we want, to up to six months in jail.

According to Leslie, a suspended sentence would include Zoia being put on probation with undetermined conditions for an unknown period of time.

When anybody is facing jail time, especially a young lady like this, she understands the severity and the consequences of what she has done.

Back in March, Leslie told reporters that his client had been expelled from the dental hygiene program she was previously enrolled in.

At the time, Leslie called the expulsion unfortunate, but added that it was a hard lesson.

On Friday, Leslie confirmed Zoia has not been allowed to return to school since then and said she is currently not working.

There was a job opportunity that she had and a decision was made not to proceed with that, he said outside of the courthouse. Right now she does modelling when the opportunity presents itself.

She was doing modeling before this and she has had contracts since this. If you are asking me if those contracts were a result of this case, I honestly have no idea.

Six people had to be rescued from a burning building in North York after a fire broke out Friday night.

A 19-year-old woman who infamously threw a chair from a downtown Toronto balcony in February has pleaded guilty to an offence connected to the incident.

She had been charged with one count each of mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property under $5,000 and common nuisance.

The other two mischief charges are expected to be dropped, according to Zoia's lawyer, Greg Leslie.

Zoia is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 14, 2020. Crown prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

"She is a young lady who made a mistake," Leslie said outside court, claiming Zoia was peer-pressured into doing the stunt.

"One of the factors the judge has to examine is the issue of rehabilitation. She is, in my opinion, already a changed woman and will be doing much better."

Leslie said he'll be seeking a suspended sentence, in which Zoia would be under probation and other conditions set by the judge.

A video that captured Zoia throwing the chair from a highrise balcony in the area of Harbour and York streets quickly spread across the internet, earning her the moniker "chair girl."

Mayor John Tory called the chair toss "grossly irresponsible behaviour that could have caused serious injury and death."

Police issued a public appeal after the video went viral, and Zoia turned herself in a few days later.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.