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Marcella Zoia pleads guilty to malice

Prosecutors say they will seek a six-month prison sentence for a woman who threw a garden chair on a balcony in downtown Toronto after the 19-year-old pleaded guilty before a crowded court on Friday.

Marcella Zoia, 19, pleaded guilty to mischief, life-threatening, acknowledging that she was the woman seen throwing her chair toward a busy road in a viralized video in February.

Zoia's lawyer, Greg Leslie, said a six-month sentence would be "excessive" for a woman her client's age.

"She's a young girl who made a mistake," Leslie said out of court, claiming that Zoia was under pressure from her colleagues to make the blow.

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

Leslie said she would seek a suspended sentence, in which Zoia would be on parole and other conditions set by the judge.

He said he expects two other charges in the incident – property damage below $ 5,000 and common nuisance – to be dropped.

A conviction hearing on the malice charge has been scheduled for January 14.

"She's very anxious now, knowing that arrest is a possibility," said Leslie, adding that a criminal record could affect Zoia's career as a model because she had to travel to the US to work in the past.

An agreed statement of facts presented at court on Friday described that Zoia had thrown the 45th-floor porch chair, narrowly missing a busy road.

The statement noted that no one was injured, but said surveillance footage from the building showed that several people were walking around the area at the time of the incident, including a woman with a child in the stroller.

The incident provoked outrage when it was posted in February, leading to criticism from the city mayor and a request from the police for public help in identifying the woman.

Zoia surrendered to the police shortly after.

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