Michael Malvasi found guilty in 2017 death of Ryan Lanzo
The jury in the Michael Malvasi trial found Malvasi guilty of all counts including aggravated vehicular homicide in the 2017 death of Ryan Lanzo, after just a few hours of deliberation Tuesday afternoon.
Malvasi was accused of causing a fatal car crash that occurred in November of 2017 and claimed the life of 23-year-old Ryan Lanzo.
The 2017 crash happened on Shields Road around 3am on a Saturday night. Testimonies in court put Lanzo and Malvasi at a Boardman bar the night of the accident. Lanzo asked the group of friends if anyone could drive him home. Malvasi offered to drive Lanzo home in the Mercedes SUV that belonged to Malvasi's father.
Reports said Malvasi later told investigators that he had consumed alcohol and marijuana.
"Ryan looked uneasy about Mike [Malvasi] driving him home," one witness said, "Even though Mike had offered to drive him, he still looked at the entire table of people and said, 'Will anyone take me home? I'll even pay you to drive me home.'"
Opening statements began Wednesday, and unusually, Malvasi delivered his own.
He tearfully claimed that he was not guilty of causing the accident, and that Lanzo was the one driving the car.
A former OSP Trooper, Christopher Jester, reconstructed the accident for the court on Monday. Jester testified that the evidence shows Lanzo was ejected from the vehicle through the sunroof after the vehicle veered off the road and hit a tree, and that injuries sustained by Lanzo prove that he was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash.
After the accident, Malvasi allegedly ran home to get his father, who then took Lanzo to the Austintown ER. Lanzo was pronounced dead at the hospital. Malvasi or his father never called 911.
The charges brought against Malvasi included aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence, and driving under the influence.
Malvasi has not yet been sentenced, but could face up to 10 years.