Mackenzie Shirilla drove her car into a wall at 100mph, killing her boyfriend and a friend

Mackenzie Shirilla is a 19 year old female from Ohio.  She has just been convicted of murder, aggravated vehicular homicide, and felonious assault following the death of her boyfriend Dominic Russo and a friend Davion Flanagan in 2022.  Mackenzie intentionally drove a car into a wall at 100mph, causing their deaths.

Aso some background into Mackenzie, her parents are Natalie and John Shirilla.  I haven’t been able to find too much about her family life.  

Mackenzie had been seeing Dominic Russo for 3 -4 years at the time of the crash.  Dominic was 20 in 2022, so Mackenzie would have been around 17.  Their relationship was described as tumultuous.   Mackenzie is said to have spent a lot of time living in Dominic’s family home during their relationship.  

Dominic’s mother spoke in court after his death and said that he and Mackenzie fought often.  Dominic’s brother Angelo told the court that the pair were very much on-again, off-again.

“I witnessed a lot of negative behavior from her to my brother, and that just kind of pushed away as a big brother figure, because she just wasn’t fair to him,” Angelo Russo said. 

Christine Russo, Dominic’s older sister said she didn’t see the fights in the couple’s relationship but heard some details from Dominic’s friends. 

“From what I heard from his buddies and people very close in their age, not that they saw [the crash] coming, but it wasn’t a surprise to a lot of people based off her behavior and how she was,” she said. 

“You would never think in a million years, nobody ever would have thought that this would happen,” she continued. “I think everybody says that when somebody’s in a domestic violence situation or if they have an abusive partner, you just don’t see that from the outside; it happens behind closed doors.”

Two weeks before the crash, on July 17, 2022, Mackenzie was driving on the Interstate and Dominic was in the car.  They were fighting and Mackenzie threatened to crash their vehicle.

Dominic called his mother at the time and asked her to pick him up.  

One of his friends ended up going to get him. The friend was on the phone with Dominic when he heard Mackenzie say: “I will crash this car right now.”

The friend arrived to get Dominic and he found the car pulled over on the side of the road.  The passenger side door was open.  

According to court documents, the friend saw Mackenzie “striking Dominic with both of her hands. Dominic then exited the vehicle and left,” the filing said.

During another 2022 fight, Dominic recorded Mackenzie making threats.  

In the recording, Mackenzie can be heard “repeatedly degrading Dominic, threatening him, and damaging his property.” 

Dominic wasn’t comfortable letting her inside his home, the filing said, and he can be heard on the footage trying to calm Mackenzie down. 

Mackenzie started banging on the door to his home and started demanding to be let inside.  She was shouting and calling him “degrading and highly inappropriate names.” 

She threatened to key his car and break off the door handle, verbally counted down multiple times to force him to let her in and said, “You’re gonna come open this door right now or there’s gonna be a serious f—ing problem.”

Dominic stopped recording at that point and called his mother for help.

The day of the crash was July 31, 2022.  Mackenzie, Dominic and their friend Davion had allegedly all been smoking pot at a friend’s home.  At around 5.30am, the trio got into Mackenzie’s 2018 Toyota Camry.  Dominic and Mackenzie were in the front, with Mackenzie driving.  Davion was in the back seat.

What happened during the ride is unclear, but there is CCTV of Mackenzie driving the vehicle and accelerating to 100mph before crashing the car into a brick wall. 

A passerby came across the wreck 45 minutes after it happened.  Dominic and Davion were dead and Mackenzie was unconscious in the driver’s seat, still wearing her fuzzy Prada slippers.  Magic mushrooms were found at the scene of the wreck. 

Mackenzie was taken to hospital and treated for her injuries.  It was later revealed in court that while she was in hospital, she searched for modelling jobs in LA from her hospital bed. 

After Dominic’s obituary was posted online, Mackenzie made a bunch of comments and posted photos on it.

In a post on Aug. 24, 2022, she shared a photo of the couple at Universal Studios, with the caption: “I miss you nug. I still feel like your just going to walk in the door any second. I miss your laugh your perfect smile.”

“God u are the last person to deserve this you had such a perfect life ahead of you … I wish I told you all this more. Please wait for me.”

Throughout August she posted multiple pictures of the two together, including prom photos.

It took awhile for Mackenzie to be arrested.  She seemed to go on living her life, partying and posting on social media.

A tiktok she made, bragging about taking drugs was made public.  

“I’m not cool, I’m just one of those girls that can do a lot of drugs and not die,” Mackenzie said in a Tiktok video. 

She was also featured on social media celebrating Halloween.  It appears in some photos that she dressed up as a corpse and she also dressed up as marijuana.

In November 2022, Mackenzie was arrested and charged with murder, aggravated vehicular homicide, and felonious assault.

Her trial started in August 2023 and it ran for four days.  

During the trial, a certified forensic mechanic testified that her car’s event data recorder showed that moments before the crash, the accelerator pedal was being pushed down at full capacity with no application of the brake, WKYC reported.

Mackenzie’s team and her parents gave the story that Mackenzie had lost control of the vehicle due to a medical condition.  

Mackenzie’s mother Nathalie testified that Mackenzie suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition that causes dizziness. 

The condition, commonly abbreviated POTS, is one of a group of conditions that reduces the volume of blood that reaches the heart after an individual stands up. 

The most common symptom is light-headedness or dizziness. 

When asked if that could have caused the crash, her mother said: ‘It could be.’ 

Mackenzie’s aunt also testified in her defense. 

She refuted the claims that we spoke about earlier that were made by Dominic’s family that the relationship was turbulent.  She told the court that Dominic and Mackenzie were very much in love.  

Prosecutors said she was on a ‘mission of death’ that she saw as her way out of their toxic relationship and that she’d scouted out the route a week before she killed him and his friend, who was ‘cargo’.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo didn’t believe any of the Shirilla’s stories.  She said Mackenzie was “literal hell on wheels.”

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

“The video clearly shows the purpose and intent of the defendant: She chose a path of death and destruction that day,” she added.

She said Mackenzie drove on purpose around 5:30 a.m. — an hour when not many witnesses would be around, along a path she didn’t routinely use but had visited a few days before.

“She had a mission, and she executed it with precision. The mission was death,” Judge Russo said.

‘There can be no doubt as to the absolute terror of the two people in that car,’ she said.

‘This was not reckless driving. This was murder.’

Mackenzie was convicted on 12 charges, including four counts of murder, four counts of felonious assault and two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.  These charges carry an automatic sentence of life in prison with no opportunity for parole for 15 years.

The families involved spoke before Mackenzie was sentenced.

Dominic’s mother, Christine Russo, told her: ‘Mackenzie, going to prison because you did this, be thankful you’re still alive and have a future, whatever that may be.

‘Dom and Davion were robbed of their futures, their hopes and their dreams. 

‘Mackenzie showed no mercy on Dominic nor did she on Davion, only God at this time can have mercy on her soul.’

Davion Flangan’s mother said his death has left their family devastated.

His sister, Davyne Flanagan, said: ‘I feel stuck, I feel like I can’t move forward. I feel lost.

‘I would like you to give Mackenzie the longest possible sentence. I’ve known her for about three years and she’s always taking the easy way out.’

Mackenzie’s mother begged for leniency in court.  Addressing the families, she said, “I’m broken, sad and lost and my heart hurts for everyone. Davion was her new friend and Dom was the love of her life and he was part of our family.” The 19-year-old could be seen crying in the background as her mother spoke.

Natalie told Judge Russo, “This was a terrible, tragic, nightmare accident,” adding that her daughter “has no memory of the accident.”

“She will never emotionally or physically recover from it. She almost died too.”  

This info about Natalie’s speech in court is from the Independent:

Ms Shirilla began crying when she recounted the events of the day, saying that she got a phone call saying there had been an accident but didn’t know who was in the car; she called Shirilla’s boyfriend multiple times but got no response. Ms Shirilla then called Dominic’s mother, who also didn’t pick up, making Ms Shirilla nervous that she was also in the car.

“My son is dead,” Dominic’s mother told Ms Shirilla, she recalled.

“We loved him so much,” Ms Shirilla repeatedly said about Dominic. She then discussed that after the accident, people online were calling Shirilla a murderer and “making death threats”. She made calls to try to take down the comments, since her daughter’s phone was in the custody of police: “She would never ever ever murder the love of her life.”

“For three months after the accident, she would only wear his clothes. She would only eat the snacks he ate. She would only listen to the music he wrote,” Ms Shirilla said, talking about how she laid in her bed for three months with a “shrine” of Dominic next to her.

Ms Shirilla said she and her husband encouraged their daughter to experience a “second of fun” when Halloween came around after “losing her whole world.” She went to a concert with Dominc’s cousin and others.

“I’m hearing an awful lot about your daughter. I’m not hearing very much about the two dead people,” Judge Russo said when Ms Shirilla paused.

“I’m asking you for leniency because this was a tragic accident that she does not remember,” Ms Shirilla pleaded, with her hands in a prayer position.

“Davion – he’s a new friend…” Ms Shirilla started saying before the judge interjected: “What does that mean? That his life is worthless?”

“God no,” Shirilla’s mother protested. “They all spent every day together.”

“But isn’t that part of the problem, Ms Shirilla?” the judge asked, continuing: “That they all trusted each other? It’s a problem how they all ended up in a car together and two of them ended up dead.”

“I understand what it looks like. I’m saying that it’s a tragic accident – she would never,” Ms Shirilla said.

The judge replied, “We’re going to have to disagree on that.”

Natalie asked the judge for non consecutive sentences.

Mackenzie did not speak during the trial but did speak before she was sentenced.

‘The families of Dominic and Davion, I’m so deeply sorry. I hope one day you can see I would never let this happen or do it on purpose. I wish I could remember what happened,’ she said crying.

‘We were all friends, and Dom was my soul mate,’ she said. 

‘I wish I could take all your pain away. And to my family, thank you for the support and all the love you guys give. I love you all so much.’

The judge sentenced Mackenzie to two concurrent 15 years-to-life sentences.  “I understand that the pain in this room wants me to impose the harshest sentence, but I don’t believe that would be the appropriate sentence,” said Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy Margaret Russo.

“Because I do believe that Mackenzie won’t be out in 15 years.” 

The judge spoke out about how Mackenzie believed losing her license would be punishment enough. 

“During the investigation, she asked if they could just suspend her license for 10 years,” she said.

“It’s hard to fathom how a person could be concerned about their driving privileges having just been responsible for the deaths of two people.”

Tim Troup of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spoke to the media after the verdict.  “We put plenty of that sort of evidence in front of the judge,” “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.”



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