WATCH: 'Chair girl' back in the hot seat
Days after the lawyer for the woman charged for hurling a chair off a condo balcony in downtown Toronto insisted she was living “off the radar”; she live streamed an early morning party with heavy drinking and maybe illegal drugs.
19-year-old Marcella Zoia is charged with mischief endangering life, mischief to damage to property over $5,000, and being a common nuisance in connection with the February incident near York St and Harbour St of which video was shared around the world.
After 4 a.m. Monday, Zoia broadcast live on Instagram with a few dozen followers watching.
In the now-deleted video obtained by NEWSTALK 1010, a glassy-eyed Zoia drinks directly from a bottle of Hennessey with a group of friends. When an online follower asks how many drinks she’s had, Zoia answers “we don’t have drinks, we have bottles.”
At one point a male voice off camera announces “here’s the coke, the cocaine” and drops a small baggie that flashes white in front of the lens. NEWSTALK 1010 cannot verify that the bag contained drugs but on screen, Zoia becomes visibly distressed and shouts “Coca-Cola! Afterwards, holding the camera close to her face, she asks the male voice “why would you say that? You’re going to ruin my life, bro.”
NEWSTALK 1010 legal analyst Ed Prutschi calls the livestream “moronic”.
“It’s hard to think of a stupider and dumber thing to do while awaiting trial or potential sentencing. Yet, here it is.”
While Zoia’s lawyer Greg Leslie has indicated he’d like to ultimately see the charges against his client dismissed, Prutschi doesn’t think the livestream does the defence any favours. He believes the footage or other similar posts could be used by the Crown to counter the defence assertion that Zoia is sorry, has suffered, been embarrassed, and has learned important lessons.
“When you’re the public embarrassment and you continue to create your public embarrassment time after time after time, the argument doesn’t hold any water.”
While no one’s life is at risk in the Instagram live footage, Prutschi believes the Crown may view it as showing the same devil-may-care attitude that was behind the chair-throwing.
Zoia’s lawyer insisted Friday that she is a young woman who caved to peer pressure. Leslie said there's video from the incident in which you hear people egging Zoia on, cheering "throw the chair" and "do it".
While throwing the chair was a poor decision, Leslie said it was not a decision fuelled by drugs or alcohol. He said Zoia was not intoxicated. He did not explain what brought Zoia to the Maple Leaf Square condos in February but says the now infamous chair throwing video was not shot at the end of an all-night party.
Leslie has claimed his client was kicked out of a dental hygiene program following her arrest. Now he says Zoia is trying to enrol in a college program, though it does not appear that she has a particular field of study in mind. The summer academic session at GTA colleges begin in early May.
Leslie knows that some people are unconvinced of his client’s remorse.
"People deal with remorse in different ways," Leslie told NEWSTALK 1010 Friday. "The way that she dealt with it, I would have rather it not be that way, by smiling and everything. She's just young."
Zoia’s case returns to court June 14.