STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — A Strongsville teenager is standing trial on charges that she purposely killed two of her friends last Summer in a high-speed car crash. If convicted of charges that include two counts of murder, 18-year-old Mackenzie Shirilla could face up to life in prison.
Investigators say it was during the early morning hours of July 31, 2022, that the, then 17-year-old, Mackenzie Shirilla drove her car at up to 100 miles per hour to the dead end of Progress Drive Business Park in Strongsville. The car struck a sign and then crashed into a brick building.
Killed in the crash were 19-year-old Davion Flanagan, who had just graduated from Strongsville High School, and Shirilla’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Dominic Russo.
Authorities said Shirilla, a 2022 Strongsville H.S. graduate, was pulled from the wreckage of her car and hospitalized for an extended period of time for treatment of her injuries.
In November 2022, she was initially charged in Juvenile Court with purposely causing the deadly accident. Then in March 2023, prosecutors made the decision to try Shirilla as an adult, for allegedly murdering Davion Flanagan and Dominic Russo.
The trial of Mackenzie Shirilla is being heard by Judge Nancy Margaret Russo. During opening statements, prosecutors told the judge that the evidence, which includes video of the crash, revealed that Shirilla accelerated to 100 miles an hour and never applied the brakes.
“It shows strikingly 100% acceleration through the entire final five seconds,” Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim Troup said.
Shirilla’s attorney told the court that he believes the evidence suggests the high-speed crash was a terrible accident.
“The case is based on inference upon inference. It’s not clear, it’s not explicit to be able to draw the inference that she acted purposely,” said Attorney James McDonnell.
Testimony in the trial is expected to continue on Tuesday.