The Ohio teen nicknamed “hell on wheels,” found guilty of deliberately driving her car into a building at 100 mph, resulting in the death of her boyfriend and his friend, received dual 15-year to life sentences on Monday. Mackenzie Shirilla, 19, was sentenced after being convicted in a bench trial on August 14 for 12 counts, including murder, related to the July 2022 incident, potentially facing life imprisonment.
A Tragic Event
At the age of 17, Shirilla deliberately crashed her vehicle into a brick building located in the Strongsville suburb of Cleveland. The impact tragically claimed the lives of her boyfriend, Dominic Russo, aged 20, and his companion, Davion Flanagan, aged 19, both pronounced deceased at the accident site.
During Shirilla's trial, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret commented on the deliberate nature of the act: “She had a mission, and she executed it with precision. The mission was death.”
Though she chose not to testify during the proceedings, Shirilla addressed the court prior to the pronouncement of her sentence. Tearfully, she conveyed her deep remorse: “The families of Dominic, Davion, I’m so deeply sorry I hope one day you’ll see that I could never let this happen or do this on purpose.”
Expressing her connection with the victims, she added, “We were all friends and Dom was my soul mate. I wish I could take all your pain away. And to my family, thank you for the support and all the love you guys give. I love you all so much.”
Frank Russo, Dominic Russo's father, disclosed to NBC News the previous week that despite her actions, he didn't wish for Shirilla to spend her life incarcerated.
“It’s horrible for everybody. Yeah, I lost my son, it’s harder on our family, but I don’t want the rest of her life ruined too. It isn’t going to make me feel any better,” he expressed.
The collision occurred at approximately 5:30 a.m. on July 31, 2022. Shirilla accelerated her Toyota Camry into the Plidco Building, a large brick structure at the junction of Progress and Alameda drives in the Strongsville suburb of Cleveland, according to authorities.
Police arrived roughly 45 minutes later. Both Russo and Flanagan were declared dead at the scene, while Shirilla was transported to the hospital.
During the verdict announcement, Judge Russo characterized Shirilla as “literally hell on wheels,” asserting that she deliberately chose a time when there would be few witnesses and took an unconventional route she hadn't frequently used, although she had scouted it days before.
In the trial, prosecutors contended that Shirilla's behavior had become volatile and menacing toward her boyfriend, and her intention behind the crash was to terminate their relationship.
The prosecution argued that Shirilla's association with Russo was toxic, marked by previous threats. Around two weeks prior to the crash, an incident occurred where she allegedly threatened to crash the car they were in due to a disagreement. Russo contacted his mother for a rescue, and a friend eventually picked him up. During a phone call with Russo, the friend purportedly overheard Shirilla threatening to crash the car immediately.
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Leading up to the collision, there were allegedly multiple threats aimed at Russo by Shirilla. Videos found on Russo's phone displayed confrontations in which she degraded and threatened him, as well as vandalized his belongings. She purportedly threatened to vandalize his car and break a door handle after he denied her entry into his residence.
The trial showcased surveillance footage capturing the moment Shirilla accelerated toward the building without slowing down, culminating in a harrowing crash.
As the judge delivered the verdict, Shirilla wept in the courtroom. She was found guilty on four counts of felonious assault, two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of drug possession, and one count of possessing criminal tools, in addition to four counts of murder.
This article was produced and syndicated by Max My Money.
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