19-year-old Mackenzie Shirilla, found guilty of purposefully causing a fatal car crash resulting in the deaths of her boyfriend and his friend in July 2022, has been sentenced to two concurrent life terms for the tragic murders.
Shirilla’s confinement will span at least 15 years, as stipulated by the concurrent life sentences handed down by Judge Nancy Margaret Russo during the afternoon of Monday.
The families of 20-year-old Domonic Russo and 19-year-old Davion Flanagan continue to grapple with the profound loss.
“Dom and Davion were robbed of their futures, their hopes, and their dreams,” lamented Christina Russo. “Mackenzie showed no mercy to Dominic or Davion. Only God at this time can have mercy on her soul.”
As the impact statements poured in from the bereaved families, a chorus emerged, urging the judge to order consecutive sentences and impose the maximum penalty of 30 years to life imprisonment upon Shirilla.
Acknowledging the emotional gravity, Judge Russo voiced, “I understand that the pain in this room urges the harshest sentence. However, I believe that Mackenzie will not be released after just 15 years.”
The litany of charges against Shirilla included four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault, aggravated vehicular homicide, drug possession, and possession of criminal tools, all of which were verified through court records. Last week, she was convicted of all counts in a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas trial.
Dismissing any notion of a defense, Judge Russo emphasized, “Even if Mackenzie also intended to die in this crash, that is irrelevant. A failed suicide attempt is not a defense to murder.”
During the sentencing proceedings, the prosecution presented evidence suggesting Shirilla’s lack of remorse. Videos showcased her engaging in concerts and college parties after the incident. Shirilla’s mother defended her daughter’s actions, asserting that she encouraged her to participate in these events as a way to find solace.
“She merely sought a fleeting moment of joy after losing her entire world,” pleaded Natalie Shirilla. “I implore you for leniency, considering this was a tragic accident she does not recall.”
Addressing the courtroom herself, Mackenzie Shirilla extended her apologies for the anguish she inflicted. The defense also submitted letters of commendable behavior from the juvenile corrections facility prior to the sentencing decision.
“I am overwhelmed with remorse,” expressed Mackenzie Shirilla. “My heart aches. I cherished Dom and Davion. We shared a profound friendship, and Dom was my soulmate. If only I could alleviate your pain. I am deeply sorry.”
The fatal crash transpired on the morning of July 31, 2022, shortly after 6 a.m. near Progress and Alameda drives. The occupants—Shirilla, 19-year-old Davion Flanagan, and 20-year-old Dominic Russo—required extrication from the wreckage. While Shirilla was transported by air to MetroHealth in Cleveland for medical treatment, Flanagan and Russo were declared deceased at the scene.
Official court records assert that Shirilla “deliberately caused the deaths” of the two teenagers by deliberately crashing the vehicle she was operating.