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19-year-old woman given 2 concurrent life sentences for fatal 2022 crash that killed 2

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Aug 21, 2023

CLEVELAND — Mackenzie Shirilla, the 19-year-old woman who was found guilty of murder for purposely causing a car crash that killed her boyfriend and his friend in July 2022, was sentenced to two life sentences for the murders, to be served concurrently.

Shirilla will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison for the two concurrent life sentences handed down by Judge Nancy Margaret Russo Monday afternoon.

The families of 20-year-old Domonic Russo and 19-year-old Davion Flanagan are still left in pieces.

​"Dom and Davion were robbed of their futures, their hopes and their dreams," said Christina Russo. "Mackenzie showed no mercy on Dominic, nor did she Davion. Only god at this time can have mercy on her soul."

Watch full video of Shirilla's sentencing below:

Full video: Sentencing for Mackenzie Shirilla, found guilty of murder for fatal 2022 car crash

During impact statements from the family of the two victims, many pleaded that the judge order the sentences to run consecutively and that Shirilla spend the maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

“I understand that the pain in this room wants me to impose the harshest sentence,” said Judge Russo before announcing Shirilla’s sentence. “But I don’t believe that would be an appropriate sentence because I do believe that Mackenzie will not be out in 15 years.”

Shirilla had been charged with four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault, aggravated vehicular homicide, drug possession, and possessing criminal tools, according to court records. Last week, she was found guilty of all counts in a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

"Even if Mackenzie also intended to die in this crash, that is irrelevant," said Russo. "A failed suicide attempt is not a defense to murder."

During the sentencing, the prosecution argued Shirilla has no remorse and showed videos of her going to concerts and college parties after the wreck. Sherilla's mother said she encouraged her to go to those events.

"She just needed a second of fun for losing her whole world," said Natalie Shirilla. "I am asking you for leniency because this was a tragic accident she does not remember."

Shirilla spoke herself, apologizing for the pain she's caused. The also defense submitted good behavior letters from the juvenile corrections facility before she learned her fate.

"I am just so sorry," said Mackenzie Shirilla. "I am heartbroken. I loved Dom and Davion. We were all friends, and Dom was my soulmate. I wish I could take all your pain away, and I am so sorry."

The crash happened on July 31, 2022, just after 6 a.m. near Progress and Alameda drives. The occupants, Shirilla, Davion Flanagan, 19, and Dominic Russo, 20, had to be extricated from the vehicle. Shirilla was flown to MetroHealth in Cleveland for treatment, while Flanagan and Russo were pronounced dead at the scene.

Court records show that Shirilla "did purposely cause the death" of the two teens by crashing the vehicle she was driving.

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