Judge finds Ohio teen guilty of killing 2 by intentionally crashing car

 August 19, 2023

In a dramatic conclusion to a tragic tale, an Ohio judge found 19-year-old Mackenzie Shirilla guilty of killing her former love interest and his friend by ramming her vehicle into a brick wall, with the jurist pointing to surveillance video as a lynchpin to her decision, as Fox News reports.

It was on Monday that in a bench trial, Judge Nancy Margaret Russo convicted Shirilla on a series of counts – including murder – stemming from the deaths of Dominic Russo (who was not related to the judge) and his friend, Davion Flanagan.

Shirilla stood accused of purposefully driving her car into a wall at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, doing so in order to kill her ex-flame while also ending the life of his friend, who happened to be a passenger in the vehicle at the time.

When delivering her decision, the judge indicated that the most pivotal evidence in the case came in the form of surveillance footage that captured Shirilla accelerating her Toyota as she drove directly toward a commercial structure, causing the fatal impact.

“This is the type of evidence you can never unsee,” Russo declared.

Speaking of Shirilla's intent, the judge continued, “She had a mission, and she executed it with precision. The mission was death.”

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

Though, as the New York Post noted, Shirilla's mother testified at trial that her daughter suffered from a condition known as “postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – an affliction that can cause fainting during sodium and hydration imbalances – the state – and ultimately the judge – did not give credence to that as a possible explanation for the crash.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley argued that Shirilla simply wanted her boyfriend dead and did not think twice about killing his friend as part of the process.

“There is no doubt that this happened because of the relationship with Dominic and the defendant's intent was clearly to end that, and she took everybody that was in the car with her,” O'Malley told reporters.

As the Post further noted, prior to her arrest in the case, Shirilla posted a video to TikTok boasting of her high tolerance for drugs, saying, “I'm not even cool I'm just one of those girls that can do a lot of drugs and not die.”

Indeed, as Fox News indicated, Shirilla and the two men who died in the crash had been indulging in marijuana just before the fatal incident – which the young woman miraculously managed to survive – took place, but it was unclear whether the video was shot before or after it occurred.

As a result of Judge Russo's decision, Shirilla faces an automatic sentence of life imprisonment, though she will be eligible for parole after 15 years, according to the Post.

Shirilla's mother has indicated her hope that an appeal will be pursued in her daughter's case, but whether that comes to pass, only time will tell.