In Cleveland, 19-year-old Mackenzie Shirilla has been found guilty on multiple charges, including four counts of murder, following a fatal car crash that took the lives of 20-year-old Dominic Russo and 19-year-old Davion Flanagan.
Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy Margaret Russo described the incident as not just reckless driving but “murder.” The tragedy occurred on July 31, 2022, at the intersection of Progress and Alameda. A severely damaged Toyota Camry was discovered with three unconscious individuals trapped inside, including Shirilla. Both Russo, who was dating Shirilla, and Flanagan were declared dead at the scene.
The evidence against Shirilla was overwhelming. The footage showcased her intent, with the judge noting her transition from a “responsible driver to literal hell on wheels.” She allegedly drove an unusual route, which she had scouted days before, and chose an early morning hour to commit the act. Disturbingly, Shirilla accelerated to a shocking 100 miles per hour with no signs of slowing or stopping.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Michael O’Malley, reiterated the evident intention behind the act. The prosecution believes that Shirilla intended to end her tumultuous relationship with Russo by crashing the car, unfortunately taking Flanagan’s life in the process. Tim Troup, representing the prosecutor’s office, referred to Flanagan as “just a suitcase in the backseat” in Shirilla’s mind.
Following the verdict, Jaime Flanagan, Davion’s mother, expressed gratitude for the justice served but acknowledged the somber reality that there were no real winners in this tragic event. An emotional bond has been formed between her and Christine Russo, Dominic’s mother, both of whom continue to grieve their irreplaceable losses.
While Shirilla’s defense has not commented on the verdict, her mother expressed shock and aims for an appeal. Sentencing will take place on August 21 at 1 p.m.