toronto chair girl

Toronto chair girl's sentencing has been postponed and people are furious

Will locally-famous dental hygiene student-turned-Instagram model Marcella Zoia go to jail for tossing a chair over the balcony of a downtown Toronto high-rise last February?

It's a question at the top of many minds this morning, as evidenced by the fact that #ChairGirl has been trending on Twitter for at least three hours as of press time.

Sadly, it's one the city still doesn't have an answer to — and won't until February 7 at the earliest.

Zoia, 20, appeared in front of a judge at Toronto's Old City Hall court house on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. for a scheduled sentence hearing after pleading guilty in November to charges of mischief endangering life.

Crown prosecutors had been recommending a six-month jail sentence for Zoia as punishment for her role in a now-viral video that shows someone whipping patio furniture over the Gardiner Expressway.

The young woman's lawyer, Greg Leslie, is asking for a lesser sentence on account of Zoia's age (she was 19 at the time) and on the grounds that she succumbed to "peer pressure."

Leslie has also maintained since the beginning of the case that Zoia is remorseful for her actions — though critics have pointed to her frequently flashy Instagram Posts as evidence of the opposite.

The fact that Zoia appeared (albeit briefly) in a new Drake video dropped on Christmas Eve fuelled even more such criticism

Both Leslie and the Crown were expected to make their final arguments about how Zoia should be sentenced this morning before a judge, who would eventually decide whether or not jail time is in the cards.

Instead, after about an hour and a half of waiting for Zoia to confer with her lawyer, the court reconvened at 11:30 a.m., only to be dismissed some 15 minutes later.

As it turns out, the Crown had taken up issue with a presentence report they'd received over the weekend.

Crown attorney Heather Keating told Justice Mara Greene that, contrary to Zoia's statement of facts, the young woman had indeed posted the original chair tossing video to her own Snapchat account.

Being that The Crown was unprepared to prove this in court, the hearing was postponed until February 7.

Prosecutors are expected to bring out a witness during the next hearing to prove that Zoia posted the video herself (before it went viral via 6ixbuzzTV).

This would be presented as an aggravating fact that could impact her eventual sentence.

The Crown attorneys will also likely bring the actual chairs that Zoia is said to have thrown from the 45th-floor balcony at York and Harbour Streets with them to the next hearing.

Said chairs were present in the courtroom on Tuesday morning, wrapped in plastic with police evidence tags on them.

While only one chair was caught on video, a second was said to have been thrown. Both chairs in the courtroom were quite mangled from their apparent falls.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Leslie said the Crown attorneys were engaging in "theatrics" by bringing the chairs.

When asked if his client did share the video that went on to bring her both fame and the attention of police, Leslie would only say that she didn't share it on Snapchat, specifically.

"My client is firm that she did not post the video to Snapchat," he said. "That is our postion, that's all I'm saying at this time."

He did speak to Zoia's appearance in the Drake video, however, when asked about it.

"She was in a Drake video for what, 1.7 seconds, without you know, any speaking... she happened to be there, on a dance floor," he said to reporters. "I think it was inappropriate and unecessary for Drake to remove her."

Those who were eager to see Zoia sentenced are disappointed by today's delay, if not downright infuriated.

"Holding over sentencing to determine if she did the posting of the video? The only relevance of posting in this case should be her posting of bail," wrote one person on Twitter.

"Why is this dumb thot getting so much attention?" wrote another. "She got her 15 minutes of fame. Lock the b*tch up, and let her fade into obscurity."

Others are making jokes about what Zoia's punishment should be. 

"Chairgirl should be forced to put together Ikea furniture for the GTA for the next 20 years," joked one Twitter user. "She can start with my bed slats because I'm tired of feeling like I sleep on a suspension bridge."

Whatever happens, Leslie says that Zoia herself just wants the court process to be over.

If her sentence does come down on February 7 as planned, it'll be one year less a week since she initially surrendered to police at their request after footage of her chair toss went viral.

Lead photo by

Lauren O'Neil


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