The Kankakee County State’s Attorney has requested that federal prosecutors pursue the death penalty against the two people charged with the murder of a Bradley police officer and the attempted murder of a second officer.
Darius Sullivan, 25, and Xandria Harris, 26, face several charges in connection with the shooting that killed Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic Wednesday at Comfort Inn on Illinois Route 50.
In a news release Monday, Jim Rowe, the Kankakee County state’s attorney, said his office has filed state charges against both suspects for first degree murder of a police officer and attempted first degree murder of a police officer.
Due to legal precedent and the nature of the offenses, Rowe submitted a request to the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois to review the cases against for federal murder charges and to pursue a federal death sentence against both suspects.
“Our State’s Attorney’s Office will now work to ensure these offenders face the harshest justice the law allows, no matter the jurisdiction, and to ensure
that the full weight of the criminal justice system is brought to bear upon them and anyone who assisted them,” he said.
Following a manhunt, Sullivan was arrested by police in North Manchester, Indiana, Friday morning. Later that day Harris turned herself in at the Bradley Police Department.
According to a probable cause proffer, the incident began after Rittmanic and fellow Bradley police officer Tyler Bailey were called to the Comfort Inn Hotel at approximately 9:56 p.m. Wednesday for the report of barking dogs left in a vehicle.
Bailey ran the vehicle’s license plate, discovered it was registered to Harris and knew that she was frequently with Sullivan, who was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants.
The officers went to the room where both individuals were, knocked at the door five times and waited 14 minutes for the suspects to open the door, according to the proffer. Harris then attempted to “squeeze past the door” and close it to prevent officers from taking Sullivan into custody, authorities said.
As Harris blocks the officers in the doorway, Sullivan came from around the corner in the hotel room, holding a 9 mm handgun, and then shot Bailey in the head, prosecutors said.
Sullivan then fired a shot at Rittmanic, chased her down the hallway and pinned her up against the door, the proffer read. Then, Sullivan’s firearm jammed as he was attempting to disarm the officer, according to prosecutors.
Subsequently Sullivan told Harris to ‘cock the gun, cock the gun,’ and assist him with the “attempt to cock the firearm and/or disarm” Rittmanic, prosecutors stated. As the sergeant lay on the floor, already having been shot once, Sullivan fired two additional shots, court documents revealed.
“At the time Sullivan fired the fatal shots into Sgt. Rittmanic, Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them just to leave, you don’t have to do this, please just go, please don’t, please don’t, she was desperately pleading for her life,” the proffer continued.
Sullivan left the hotel in a vehicle, and Harris later fled separately with her children who were in the hotel room at the time.
Harris “actively assisted and enabled Darius Sullivan throughout the course of the murder of Sgt. Rittmanic and attempt murder of Officer Bailey, and she is equally responsible,” the proffer added.