Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Teen sentenced to life in prison for killing boyfriend and friend in car crash

A judge has laid out the sentencing for the Ohio teen whose reckless driving resulted in two deaths. One week after Mackenzie Shirilla was convicted on murder charges for the deaths of her boyfriend Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19, she was sentenced to two concurrent 15 years to life sentences.

Ahead of the Aug. 21 sentencing, she had been found guilty of intentionally crashing her car at 100 miles per hour into the side of a building in July 2022—killing Dominic and Davion, who were passengers in the car.

“This was not reckless driving. This was murder,” said Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo on August 14 before announcing her verdict, per local station WKYC 3News. “The video clearly shows the purpose and intent of the defendant. She chose a course of death and destruction that day.”

In total, Shirilla—who was 17 at the time of the crash—was found guilty on 12 counts, including four of murder, four of felonious assault, two of aggravated vehicular homicide, one of drug possession and one of possessing criminal tools, per NBC News.

Judge Russo also elaborated on her decision to give Shirilla concurrent versus consecutive sentences. (Concurrent sentences can be served simultaneously, whereas consecutive sentences are served back to back, per Cornell Law School.)

“I understand that the pain in this room wants me to impose the harshest sentence,” Russo said of her decision, according to NBC News, “but I don’t believe that would be the appropriate sentence because I do believe that Mackenzie won’t be out in 15 years.”

Ahead of learning her sentence, Shirilla, who did not testify during the bench trial, expressed remorse while addressing the court.

“The families of Dominic and Davion, I’m so deeply sorry,” she said, according to NBC News, “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.”

The outlet also reported that for their part, when speaking to the court, members of the victims’ families asked the judge to bestow the harshest sentence.

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

Flanagan’s sister, Davyne Flanagan, added, “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.”

The decision came after a four day-long bench trial—which is a trial by judge rather than a trial by jury—during which prosecutors had argued that Shirilla caused the crash in order to end her unhealthy relationship with Russo.

“We put plenty of that sort of evidence in front of the judge,” Tim Troup of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office told 3News on Aug. 14 after the verdict was announced. “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.”

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley added, “The intent was obvious upon seeing that video that there was only one goal and the computer demonstrated that there was no attempt to slow down or stop, that it was full speed into a building and tragically it cost two people their lives.”

In other news – Sienna Miller is expecting her second child

The actress was spotted with a baby bump while vacationing in Ibiza this week, according to photos obtained by People. While spending time at the beach with friends, Miller donned a two-piece brown bikini that put her belly on full display.

The Anatomy of a Scandal star, 41, is already mom to a 11-year-old daughter, Marlowe, whom she shares with her ex, actor Tom Sturridge. Read More

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