A Toronto woman has been spared from jail after throwing a chair from a high-rise balcony in 2019.
Marcella Zoia, 20, was instead given probation, community service and a $2,000 fine on Tuesday (21 July) for the incident that occurred in February last year.
Who is ‘Chair Girl’?
Zoia earned the nickname “Chair Girl” after she was recorded throwing a chair from a balcony on the 45th floor in Toronto, with the footage first appearing on Snapchat.
The chair appeared to hurtle towards the Gardiner Expressway, which is one of the busiest highways in the country, and towards a pavement, but luckily it caused no injuries.
After it emerged, the video was then later uploaded to Facebook where it went viral and attracted the attention of local authorities.
Zoia, who was 19 at the time of the incident, was subsequently identified and charged.
She pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life in November 2019.
Why was she spared jail?
The 20-year-old was sentenced to two years on probation, 150 hours of community service and a fine of $2,000 (£1,165).
Crown prosecutors had sought a jail sentence of up to six-months, but Ontario court Judge Mara Greene ruled that this would be inappropriate for the first-time offender.
Greene said that she could not find that Zoia had intended to hurt anyone when she threw the chair, and she had been shamed publicly.
It was also ruled that a suspended sentence, as the defence had asked for, was also inappropriate.
The fact that no one had been hurt was factored into the decision for Zoia’s punishment, along with her young age and potential for rehabilitation.
It was also noted that Zoia had been drinking the night before and was still intoxicated on the morning she threw the chair from the balcony.
Zoia’s lawyer, Gregory Leslie, told journalists in Toronto that the sentence she had been given was both appropriate and fair, but the 20-year-old is left with an adult criminal record.
Mr Leslie also said earlier that his client had dropped out of school, lost modelling contracts, and was suffering from anxiety as a result of the incident, and argued that she had succumbed to peer pressure.
Zoia apologised for the incident in court and explained it was a “very immature and stupid mistake” that she takes full responsibility for.