Guilty plea in hor­rific DUI crash

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

The lawyer for an ac­cused drunk driver in­volved in a hor­rific crash that killed three young chil­dren and their grand­fa­ther said Wed­nes­day his client will plead guilty to mul­ti­ple charges.

Marco Muzzo — a mem­ber of one of Canada’s wealth­i­est fam­i­lies — faces a dozen counts of im­paired driv­ing and six more charges of dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle re­lated to the Sept. 27 crash north of Toronto.

His lawyer Brian Greenspan asked a Su­pe­rior Court judge for per­mis­sion to have the case re­turn to court next month, when Muzzo will en­ter his plea.

“Mr. Muzzo has al­ways ac­cepted full re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions and his con­duct, and has from the first day of our meet­ing ex­pressed his wish that this mat­ter pro­ceed as ex­pe­di­tiously as pos­si­ble to this res­o­lu­tion,” Greenspan said out­side the court­house fol­low­ing a brief hear­ing.

Some of the charges Muzzo faces are “re­dun­dant,” Greenspan said, adding that his client will plead guilty to “those charges that the Crown presents to the court” at his next ap­pear­ance.

The prom­i­nent lawyer noted that Muzzo’s le­gal case is pro­gress­ing fast — the fastest he’s seen in his long ca­reer.

“What’s driv­ing that is his ac­cep­tance of re­spon­si­bil­ity, his ac­cep­tance of the mis­con­duct in which he was en­gaged and his true ex­pres­sion of re­morse and con­tri­tion in the cir­cum­stances of this case.”

Nine-year-old Daniel NevilleLake, his five-year-old brother Har­ri­son, their two-year-old sis­ter Milly, and their 65-year-old grand­fa­ther Gary Neville died in the col­li­sion in Vaughan, Ont.

The chil­dren’s grand­mother and great-grand­mother were also se­ri­ously in­jured in the crash.

The Neville-Lake chil­dren’s par­ents were in court on Wed­nes­day, wear­ing the ashes of their chil­dren in lockets around their necks.

The Muzzo fam­ily re­leased a state­ment af­ter their son’s ar­rest say­ing they were “greatly sad­dened” by the tragedy, and ex­pressed their “deep­est sym­pa­thy” to the Neville-Lake fam­ily.

The Muzzo fam­ily owns the dry­wall com­pany Marel Con­trac­tors and is worth nearly $1.8 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian Busi­ness mag­a­zine.

Be­fore the crash, Muzzo had seven non-crim­i­nal of­fences, in­clud­ing a con­vic­tion for driv­ing with a hand­held de­vice, ac­cord­ing to the On­tario Min­istry of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Muzzo’s pre­vi­ous of­fences occurred through­out the Toronto area, from Rich­mond Hill to New­mar­ket, Oril­lia and Mis­sis­sauga, the min­istry said.

CP PHOTO

Jen­nifer Neville-Lake and her hus­band, Ed, who lost their three chil­dren and their grand­fa­ther in a hor­rific crash with ac­cused drunk driver Marco Muzzo, speak to the me­dia at the court­house in New­mar­ket, Ont., Wed­nes­day.

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