STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (TCD) — A judge found a 19-year-old girl guilty of several counts of murder and other charges for crashing her speeding car into a brick wall and killing her 20-year-old boyfriend and his friend.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office announced Aug. 14 that Mackenzie Shirilla was convicted of four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault, two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of drug possession, and one count of possessing criminal tools for the 2022 deaths of Dominic Russo and Davion Flanagan.
On July 31, 2022, at approximately 5:30 a.m., Shirilla was driving Flanagan and Russo when she “accelerated her Toyota Camry to 100 mph” and drove into a brick building on Alameda Drive in Strongsville. A passerby saw the crash site about 45 minutes later and called 911.
According to Strongsville Police, the car had “severe damage and full airbag deployments.” Shirilla, Russo, and Flanagan were all unconscious and trapped in the car when paramedics arrived. Firefighters were able to remove the three of them from the vehicle, then transported Shirilla via Life Flight to a nearby hospital. Russo and Flanagan were pronounced dead at the scene.
Shirilla was 17 years old at the time of the crash. Strongsville Police arrested Shirilla on suspicion of murder and other charges on Nov. 4, 2022.
Shirilla and Russo were in a relationship, and prosecutors argued Flanagan, Russo’s friend, “was just cargo” and “just a suitcase in the backseat in the defendant’s mind,” WKYC-TV reports.
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo presided over the bench trial, meaning the case was argued in front of the judge and not a jury.
According to WKYC, Russo told Shirilla prior to announcing her verdict, “This was not reckless driving. This was murder.”
Russo said video from the crash “clearly shows the purpose and intent of the defendant. She chose a course of death and destruction that day.”
Russo added, “She morphs from a responsible driver to literal hell on wheels as she makes her way down the street.”
The judge argued Shirilla was on a “mission” when she caused the crash and that she did it “with precision.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told WKYC evidence showed Shirilla made “no attempt to slow down or stop, that it was full speed into a building and tragically it cost two people their lives.”
Flanagan’s mom said she is “thankful” for the verdict, but believes there are “no winners here today.”
O’Malley said Shirilla will be sentenced Aug. 21.
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