Canfield man sentenced in crash that killed passenger

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Canfield man convicted of crashing his car in 2017 and leaving his hurt passenger to die was sentenced Monday.

For the first time since this case began, Michael Malvasi, Jr. entered court chained at his wrists and ankles and dressed in jailhouse orange after being found guilty earlier this month in connection with a fatal crash nearly four years ago.

Malvasi was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide in the death of Ryan Lanzo.

“I still think of that morning every single day,” said Debbie Lanzo, Ryan’s mom.

Debbie told Judge Maureen Sweeney she is still angered by the claims Malvasi and the victim were friends.

“Every time it was on the news or a reporter would use that term, it sickened me, as if they were so far from the truth,” she said.

Malvasi was convicted of crashing his car along Shields Road in Canfield and then leaving the dying victim behind while he walked a mile and a half away to his house, never calling for help.

It took less than three hours for a Mahoning County jury to return its verdict against Malvasi.

“Not a single crumb of remorse was shown by him in this courtroom during the trial. Instead, he chose to doze off many times, as though he was bored and didn’t want to be here,” Debbie said.

Malvasi’s attorney claims the evidence does not provide Malvasi was driving at the time of the crash, even if the defendant did make a number of bad decisions then.

Malvasi has repeatedly claimed Lanzo was the driver, claims that angered Ryan’s family.

“Came to the stand, told everybody it wasn’t him when he knew d*** well it was him up there, drove the car and ran home,” said Ross Lanzo, Ryan’s brother.

Prosecutors told jurors the evidence shows Malvasi was driving drunk on the morning of November 18, 2017, when he crashed his car and Lanzo was killed.

When it was his turn to speak, the defendant tearfully apologized, saying that he made a number of very bad decisions that fateful night.

“I can’t believe how irresponsible I acted,” Malvasi said.

Judge Sweeney sentenced Malvasi to 12 years in prison and suspended his driver’s license for life.

We’re told the defendant will have to serve at least eight to 10 years before he’s ever eligible for parole.

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