Jared Bridegan’s family speak to Fox News Digital after the arrest of Shanna Gardner-Fernandez
Jared’s widow Kirsten, and his brothers, Justin and Adam speak about getting justice. (Larry Paci for Fox News Digital)
An Ohio teenager was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison as the victims’ families and a prosecutor blasted her for her “shocking lack of remorse” after she intentionally slammed her car at 100 mph into a brick wall to kill her boyfriend and his friend.
Mackenzie Shirilla, 19, allegedly sought a modeling job from a Los Angeles agency as she sat in a hospital bed recovering from the July 31, 2022, wreck that killed her boyfriend Dominic Russo, 20, and his friend, Davion Flanagan, 19.
Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said that after her release from the hospital, she attended a music concert in a wheelchair and was in a TikTok video for Halloween dancing with friends dressed as what appears to be a corpse.
The prosecutor added that Shirilla also continued to drive.
OHIO TEEN INTENTIONALLY CRASHED CAR INTO BRICK WALL TO KILL BOYFRIEND, FRIEND
Mackenzie Shirilla reacts to her sentencing in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, August 21, 2023. Shirilla was found guilty of four counts of murder and other charges relating to the deaths of her boyfriend, Dominic Russo, and his friend, Davion Flanagan, in July 2022. (Law&Crime livestream)
Sharilla was found guilty of four counts of murder and other charges last Monday for the deadly collision outside Cleveland.
“There can be no doubt as to the absolute terror of the two people in that car,” Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy Margaret Russo, no relation to Dominic Russo, said before handing down the sentence.
Sharilla’s convictions carry an automatic minimum of 15 years to life but, in an act of mercy, the judge ordered that the two terms be served at the same time instead of sequentially.
She will be eligible for parole in 15 years rather than 30.
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“This was not reckless driving. This was murder,” the judge said last Monday after a four-day non-jury trial.
Russo added that the most significant piece of evidence against Shirilla was the “chilling and tragic” surveillance footage that shows the moment she accelerates and slams her Toyota Camry into the wall of a commercial building.
Mackenzie Shirilla makes a statement to the court during her sentencing in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, August 21, 2023. Shirilla was found guilty of four counts of murder and other charges relating to the deaths of her boyfriend, Dominic Russo, and his friend, Davion Flanagan, in July 2022.
“This is the type of evidence you can never unsee,” Russo said of the collision in Strongsville. “She had a mission, and she executed it with precision. The mission was death.”
The judge called Shirilla, then 17, a “literal hell on wheels” who before the early morning crash had taken the same obscure route to plot the crime.
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Prosecutors argued at trial that Shirilla smashed into the building to end her toxic relationship with Russo, and Flanagan just happened to be along for the ride.
Russo and Flanagan were pronounced dead at the scene while Shirilla was unconscious and had to be extracted from the mangled car.
Ohio teenager Mackenzie Shirilla was convicted Monday of murdering her boyfriend, Dominic Russo, and his friend Davion Flanagan, by slamming her car into a brick wall while going 100 mph. (Instagram)
Shirilla’s attorney, Jim McDonnell, argued that she simply lost control of the car.
She and the two victims had been smoking marijuana before the collision. Her family said she plans to appeal the verdict.
Shirillia was back in the spotlight last week for disturbing social media posts that surfaced after her sentencing.
Mackenzie Shirilla breaks down in sobs Monday, Aug 14, in court after she was convicted of four counts of murder for the intentionally slamming her car into a brick wall to kill her boyfriend and his friend. (WKYC CHANNEL 3/YOUTUBE)
“I’m just one of those girls that can do a lot of drugs and not die,” she said, staring into the camera, on TikTok.
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It wasn’t immediately clear when the since-deleted video was posted.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to [email protected] and @ReRosenberg.