Bradley, Illinois – Police Sgt Marlene Rittmanic and her partner Tyler Bailey responded to the report of a dog barking at an “abandoned” car in the parking lot of a Comfort Inn. They ran the plate on the vehicle and found that it belonged to Darius Sullivan, 25. They learned that Sullivan and his girlfriend Xandria Harris were staying in the motel so they went to the room and knocked on the door. What transpired has Kanakee county prosecutors calling for the death penalty in a state that doesn’t have it.
‘At the time Sullivan fired the fatal shots into Sgt. Rittmanic, Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them to just leave, “you don’t have to do this, please just go, please don’t please don’t.” She was desperately pleading for her life,’ Rowe said, according to court documents.
‘I will be submitting an official request to the U.S. Attorney General for the Central District of Illinois and to the U.S. Attorney General to review the first degree murder case pending against Darius Sullivan and Xandria Harris for federal murder charges, and pursue a federal sentence of death against both defendants,’ Rowe said.
Kanakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe painted the picture of a cold-blooded murder. Illinois is not a death penalty state, so Rowe went the Federal route to the US Attorney General and the US Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. With one officer still fighting for his life after being shot point blank in the head, and the other officer, a 49 year old veteran of the Bradley police force shot to death, it was horrifying for all law enforcement.
The two officers knocked on the door of room 308, where Sullivan and Harris were staying, for about 15 minutes. Harris repeatedly told them through the door that she was getting dressed.
Finally, she opened the door and tried to wedge her way outside and close the door behind her, hiding Sullivan from officers.
They asked her multiple times to move out of the way before Sullivan emerged, wielding a 9mm handgun equipped with a drum clip. He pointed the barrel and (at) Bailey and shot him point-blank in the head.
He shot Rittmanic as she tried to run away, according to court documents. Then, his gun jammed – he tried to unjam the weapon with his right hand and mouth while he used his left hand to try to disarm Rittmanic.
Harris ran down the hallway towards the struggle, and Sullivan allegedly told her to ‘cock the gun, cock the gun.’ With her help, Sullivan took Rittmanic’s service weapon from her, which he used to shoot her in the head, officials said.
As usual, the suspects ran from the scene. After a 36 hour manhunt, Sullivan was located in Indiana, and Harris turned herself in. Sullivan has a lengthy rap sheet (no surprise) and was wanted on a bench warrant at the time of the incident. The defense attorney for Harris tried to grab sympathy for his client by telling the judge she had 3 children and was pregnant. Too bad. She assisted a career criminal in murder.
The judge kept them in custody, telling Harris that she was a “threat” to the community. Harris will appear for arraignment on Jan 27. The case goes to a Grand Jury on Jan 22.
Several more weapons and narcotics were recovered in the motel room after the murder. Sullivan is fighting extradition to Illinois, which will likely fail.
The case of Sgt Rittmanic will affect those agencies for years. This ia a raving hate crime, and the death penalty is warranted.
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