Teenage girl sobs as she’s sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for ‘hell on wheels’ deadly car crash

Mackenzie Shirilla, 19, was found guilty on multiple counts of murder for the incident that killed Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 22 August 2023 03:36 BST
Ohio teen murdered boyfriend, friend by deliberately crashing car at 100mph: ‘Literal hell on wheels’

An Ohio teenager has been jailed for between 15 years and life in prison for a deliberate 100mph “hell on wheels” crash that killed her boyfriend and friend.

Mackenzie Shirilla, 19, was found guilty on multiple counts of murder for the incident that killed Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19, last year.

Shirilla sobbed in court as the verdict was delivered, according to Fox News. She read a statement saying: “I’m so deeply sorry. I hope one day you can see I would never let this happen or do it on purpose.”

However, her trial heard that her actions were deliberate – and that after the fatal crash she had tried to get a modelling job, gone to a concert in a wheelchair, and asked police: “Can’t you just take my licence away for 10 years or something like that?”

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy Margaret Russo, who held the trial without a jury, said: “She had a mission, and she executed it with precision. The decision was death.

“Her actions were controlled, methodical, deliberate, intentional and purposeful. This was not reckless driving. This was murder.”

The court was told that the crash took place at around 5.30am on 31 July 2022 at a building in a business park. Investigators say that Shirilla drove her 2018 Toyota Camry down a three-quarter mile road until it hit a speed of 100mph.

Data from the car’s computer and surveillance video showed that the steering wheel jerked to the right and then left before the vehicle left the road and crashed into the business.

The wreck was found by a passerby around 45 minutes later. When police arrived they found Russo and Flanagan dead, and Shrilla trapped in the driver’s seat with a fuzzy Prada slipper stuck to the accelerator.

The judge told the court that the final seconds of the incident proved that Shirilla acted with purpose.

“She morphs from responsible driver to literal hell on wheels,” she said.

Prosecutors showed a video taken weeks before the crash which showed Shrilla arguing with Russo and in which she threatened to key his car.

Following the crash, doctors stated that Shiilla expressed “grief, guilt and shame” about the crash, with prosecutors saying that she had demonstrated “consciousness of guilt”.

Her lawyers argued that feeling bad after a fatal crash did not make the driver a murderer and said that prosecutors had not proved she had not just lost control while driving recklessly.

She will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

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