Teen Found Guilty of Intentionally Crashing Car at 100 mph, Killing Boyfriend and Passenger

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An Ohio teenager has been declared guilty of murder by a judge after intentionally driving her car into a brick building at a speed of 100 mph, resulting in the death of her boyfriend and another passenger, PEOPLE reported.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo, on Monday, found 19-year-old Mackenzie Shirilla from Strongsville guilty on 12 charges including murder, aggravated vehicular homicide, felonious assault, and drug possession.

The tragic incident occurred in 2022, leading to the deaths of 20-year-old Dominic Russo and 19-year-old Davion Flanagan, according to statements from the prosecutor's office.

Cleveland.com reports that Judge Russo's ruling mandates an automatic life sentence for Shirilla, with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Shirilla displayed strong emotions during the court proceedings, with 3News documenting her sobbing uncontrollably when the judge delivered her verdict.

The judge emphasized that the act was not a result of reckless driving but was, in fact, a deliberate act of murder, stating, "This was not reckless driving. This was murder."

The tragedy unfolded on July 31, 2022, in the early hours of the morning. Shirilla was behind the wheel of a 2018 Toyota Camry, accompanied by Russo in the front seat and Flanagan in the back. Allegedly, the three had been smoking marijuana at a friend's house before Shirilla took control of the vehicle.

Surveillance footage presented during the trial showed Shirilla driving at a normal speed on Progress Drive in the Progress Drive Business Park. However, her demeanor changed drastically when she turned onto Alameda Drive.

The judge described Shirilla's driving as erratic, with her accelerating and suddenly jerking the wheel to the right and left before crashing into a brick building at a speed of 100 mph.

The impact resulted in a catastrophic collision that trapped Shirilla and her passengers in the mangled wreckage. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley emphasized that the evidence, including video footage, pointed to Shirilla's intent to cause harm.

Prosecutors argued that Shirilla's motive was to end her tumultuous relationship with Dominic Russo. This was supported by her actions and the circumstances leading up to the incident. While Shirilla's attorney, James McDonnell, contended that the prosecution failed to definitively prove her intention to crash the car deliberately, Judge Russo's verdict remained resolute.

The tragic event claimed the lives of Dominic Russo and Davion Flanagan. Shirilla was found trapped and unconscious inside the vehicle after the crash. Her mother has indicated that she plans to appeal the conviction. In the wake of the loss, GoFundMe campaigns were launched to remember and honor the memories of the victims, Flanagan and Russo.

Read next: High School Football Player Jordan DeMay's Sextortion Tragedy Ends in Heartbreaking Suicide

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