Teen Mackenzie Shirilla Reads Tearful Statement Denying She Intentionally Murdered Boyfriend

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Mackenzie Shirilla shared an emotional message after she was convicted of killing her boyfriend and a friend last summer.

The Ohio teen, who received to two concurrent sentences for 15 years to life in prison on Aug. 21, read a statement in court saying she did not intentionally murder boyfriend Dominic Russo, 20, and Davion Flanagan, 19. 

Noting she was "so deeply sorry" for her actions, Shirilla told the victims' families, "I would never let this happen or do it on purpose. I wish I could remember what happened. I'm just so sorry. I'm heartbroken." 

Shirilla continued, "We were all friends and [Russo] was my soulmate. I wish I could take all your pain away. I'm so sorry. And to my family, thank you for the support and all the love you guys give. Thank you for fighting with me."

Around 5:30 a.m. on July 31, 2022, then 17-year-old Shirilla crashed her car into a brick building in the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville, Ohio, while driving 100 miles per hour, per NBC News. Her two passengers Russo and Flanagan were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Cuyahoga County judge Nancy Margaret Russo determined the wreck was deliberate and ruled that Shirilla was guilty on 12 counts, including four for murder, according to NBC News. She was also found guilty on four counts of felonious assault and one count of drug possession.

"This was not reckless driving. This was murder," the judge said in court Aug. 14, as reported by WKYC 3News. "The video clearly shows the purpose and intent of the defendant. She chose a course of death and destruction that day." 


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Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O'Malley said Shirilla's "intent was obvious" after reviewing footage of the incident. "There was only one goal," O'Malley said, "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." 

Prosecutors also stated that Shirilla had threatened to crash the car over an apparent disagreement two weeks prior.

Shirilla and Russo—who dated for over three years—had a troubled relationship, his family said, per NBC News. "I witnessed a lot of negative behavior from her to my brother," Angelo Russo testified, "and that just kind of pushed away as a big brother figure, because she just wasn't fair to him."

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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