Guilty plea in horrific DUI crash
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.
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.