Jennifer Neville-Lake, grieving the deaths of her three children and father in an alleged impaired driving crash, says an anticipated guilty plea by the accused would spare her the anguish of sitting through a trial.
"All it would mean is that I don't have to get out of bed," she said Wednesday.
Neville-Lake, who alongside her husband, Edward Lake, were present at every court date for Marco Muzzo, says the appearances left little time to grieve.
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"We have to keep it together for the time we're here," she said.
She said she comes to court because she wants to be there for her family members who "don't have voices anymore."
"I was a very big advocate for my children. Now, this is the only thing left that we can do for them."
Neville-Lake spoke to reporters outside the Newmarket provincial courthouse where Muzzo's lawyer indicated Wednesday that he would plead guilty on Feb. 4.
She said she is "cautiously optimistic" after hearing about a planned guilty plea by Muzzo.
"The reason we're here and the reason that other families like ours are missing family members is because of someone else's actions," she said. "So somebody is ready to stand up and say 'I did it.'"
Muzzo, 29, faces 18 charges, including four counts of impaired driving causing death, related to the Sept. 27 crash. Daniel, 9, his brother Harrison, 5, their sister Milly, 2, and their 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville were killed in the crash in Vaughan, Ont.
Some of the charges Muzzo faces are "redundant," lawyer Brian Greenspan said, adding Muzzo will plead guilty to "those charges that the Crown presents to the court" at his next appearance.
Neville-Lake says the family was "utterly decimated by this" and whatever the outcome, it will not bring her children and father back.
"It's not going to fix us. We're going to remain broken," she said.
"We can never repair but maybe we can start to learn how to carry our broken parts."
'I feel destroyed,' father says
"I feel lost. I feel destroyed. That's what I feel," Edward Lake said of the deaths of his children and father-in-law.
Neville-Lake says the next court date in the case falls one day after what would've been her son Daniel's 10th birthday.
She said her family is glad they would not be marking the birthday at the courthouse.
Neville-Lake said she tries not to think about sentencing for the accused because "no magic number" exists.
"If I allow myself to go down that pathway, you're going to be consumed by hate," she said. "That's not what I was teaching my children, that's not what my father taught me."
"I don't think there's a number that would make me feel better sleeping at night knowing that I have empty bedrooms."