Footage of Marcella Zoia tossing the chair last year went viral, and her case has attracted widespread media attention in Canada.
She was handed a $2,000 (US$1,500) fine, sentenced to two years’ probation and will be required to carry out 150 hours of community service, but will not serve time in prison.
Zoia may also be required to attend counseling around the appropriate uses of social media if instructed to do so, a spokesperson for the Ontario Court of Justice told CNN. Her probation order also forbids her from contacting or communicating with two acquaintances.
She pleaded guilty to mischief endangering life in November. The video, filmed alongside Zoia on the same balcony, shows the then-19-year-old throwing a chair dozens of stories down onto a Toronto highway along which cars were driving. It was captioned “Good morning.”
“Zoia committed a very dangerous act,” judge Mara Greene said in her decision, according to CNN affiliate CTV News. “She did so for her own pleasure and vanity in the moment. It was a selfish act that could have led to disastrous results. It is only by sheer luck that someone was not hurt or killed.””
The judge continued: “In light of Zoia’s very young age, the collateral consequences outlined and her great process through rehabilitation, I find that a sentence should fall in the lower range.”
“While incarceration is extremely more punitive than a fine, it is my view that in this particular case, a meaningful fine, coupled with community service, is sufficiently punitive.”
Zoia, who has thousands of followers on Instagram and has continued to post frequently on her social media platforms during the legal proceedings, has attracted tabloid attention in Canada.
Her sentence was criticized by Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, who told news channel CP24: “She should’ve gone to jail for enough time to send a message to her and everyone else.”