Woman charged in London, Ont., explosion to plead guilty

Daniella Leis is photographed by media as she leaves a London, Ont., courthouse on Oct. 2, 2019. Andrew Graham / Global

The woman charged in relation to last year’s Old East Village explosion is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on Thursday.

The explosion rocked the historic London, Ont., community more than a year ago when a vehicle crashed into a home on Woodman Avenue on the evening of Aug. 14, 2019.

The crash saw the vehicle hit a gas line, which then sparked a massive explosion that completely levelled one home, left two others so badly damaged they had to be demolished, and resulted in the evacuation of an entire neighbourhood.

A local firefighter was seriously injured during the event.

Read more: London, Ont. explosion — Fire department members recount night 1 year later

Daniella Leis faces 12 charges in relation to the explosion — eight impaired driving-related offences and four counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

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On Oct. 14, the Ontario court of justice heard from a representative of her counsel in the latest appearance in a case that began in September of last year.

The counsel requested a resolution be scheduled for Thursday, which would see Leis enter a guilty plea on that date.

Read more: ‘Like something out of a movie’ — Next door neighbour recounts London, Ont. house explosion

Leis’ lawyer Richard Braiden told Global News he expects the guilty plea will be relatively brief and straightforward.

“I anticipate this will be pleading to four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm,” said Braiden, adding that he expects the remaining eight charges to be withdrawn at the conclusion of the case.

Braiden says Leis won’t be present at the teleconference hearing on Oct. 22 due to the procedures put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a date hasn’t been confirmed, Braiden anticipates that the sentencing for Leis will happen in early January.

Click to play video: 'Residents return to aftermath of London explosion' Residents return to aftermath of London explosion
Residents return to aftermath of London explosion – Aug 16, 2019

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