Aug. 21 (UPI) — A 19-year-old Ohio woman has been sentenced to life in prison for deliberately crashing her car at 100 mph into a building and killing her boyfriend and another teen.
Mackenzie Shirilla was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences Monday and will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison before she is eligible for parole.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy Margaret Russo responded to family members who pleaded for the sentences to run consecutively so that parole would be withheld for 30 years.
“I understand that the pain in this room wants me to impose the harshest sentence,” Russo said 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.”
Last week, Russo — who also suspended Shirilla’s driver’s license for life — called her “hell on wheels” as she delivered the teen’s verdict. Shirilla was found guilty of multiple counts of murder, felonious assault and aggravated vehicular homicide in the deaths of passengers Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19.
While defense attorneys claimed Shirilla lost control of the Toyota Camry while driving recklessly two days shy of her 18th birthday on July 31, 2022, prosecutors argued the evidence showed she intentionally crashed the vehicle into an industrial park building.
A security camera video of the crash shows the car accelerating in what prosecutors called “a controlled manner” up to 100 mph “with intent” before careening off the road and into the building, WKYC-TV reported.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley spoke after the hearing and said he hopes Shirilla uses her prison time to become a better person. “She has got a long life ahead of her,” O’Malley said. “God only knows when she’ll get out.”
Before she was sentenced Monday, Shirilla apologized to the families of Flanagan and Russo, saying she had no intention of killing the two men.
“I wish I could take all of your pain away. I’m so sorry,” Shirilla said. “I hope one day you can see I would never let this happen or do it on purpose. We were all friends, and Dom was my soul mate.”