A suspect accused of killing an Illinois police officer at point-blank range already had an extensive rap sheet that included nearly two dozen arrests and over 40 criminal charges spanning just a few years.
Darius Sullivan’s crimes in Kankakee County date back to when he was 19-years-old and now, at 25, he has been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic on December 29 in what is being called a “cold-blooded” murder.
When he allegedly gunned down the officer with the help of his girlfriend, Xandria Harris, 26, Sullivan had several open cases pending against him, according to Daily Mail.
In total, Sullivan has faced 43 charges from local and state officials over the past six years, that included felony possession of a stolen firearm to felony criminal damage to government property, as well as resisting arrest, driving while under the influence, and battery.
The December 29 alleged killing of Rittmanic tops all. For Sullivan, it likely marks the conclusion of what can be described as a continuing saga of crimes that ranged from driving without a license while in possession of marijuana to burglary. He later pled guilty for the latter and received 36 months probation.
The burglary rap was reportedly not the first time Sullivan received a probation verdict. In May 2015, he was handed a 30-month probation sentence for theft and damaging government property. Prior to the probation’s conclusion, he was again apprehended for burglary and theft charges and driving without a license and insurance.
Sullivan currently has open cases that date back to February 2021 when he was caught driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance and vehicle registration. He failed to appear in court on June 16, triggering a warrant for his arrest.
The Rittmanic shooting advanced Sullivan’s habitual criminal legacy to a new level.
Rittmanic pleaded for her life, her last words, “You don’t have to do this. Please just go. Please don’t. Please don’t,” were revealed in shocking bodycam footage presented by Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe at a Monday bond hearing, according to Daily Mail.
“She was desperately pleading for her life,” Rowe said.
Sullivan allegedly shot Rittmanic with her own gun. The incident took place at the Kankakee City Comfort Inn in December. Sullivan was reportedly accompanied by his girlfriend and the duo, who reportedly have three children together, also allegedly shot Rittmanic’s partner, 27-year-old Officer Tyler Bailey, who is currently in critical condition in a Chicago area hospital. Both Sullivan and Harris were denied bond and extradited from Indiana, where they had attempted to seek refuge.
Sullivan’s girlfriend Harris, who is currently pregnant, contends that she is innocent.
Following Sullivan’s arrest, she had turned herself in to police voluntarily, according to her attorney, Phil Haddad.
Rowe will reportedly be seeking the death penalty for both Harris and Sullivan. The State’s attorney will seek life imprisonment for both Sullivan and Harris, in accordance with existing Illinois law, although Rowe intends to ask the state to consider the death penalty for both defendants.
“I will be submitting an official request 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 death sentence for both defendants.” Rowe outlined.
Illinois isn’t a death penalty state. Yet the U.S. Attorney General can petition for an exception in certain instances. Rowe said that Sullivan first shot Rittmanic, allegedly chased her down the Comfort Inn hallway, finally pinning her to the floor. Harris then allegedly disarmed the officer, gave the weapon to Sullivan who subsequently fired two shots at point-blank range, killing Rittmanic.
Family and fellow department officers told NBC 5 in a statement, “Our world has been turned upside down, obliterated and hopelessly broken. We are forever indebted to all of you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Rittmanic proved to be the model police officer and citizen. The Bradley Police Department and Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office described the 21-year veteran as a “hero.” She was well known for her leadership in the community, receiving the department’s Officer of the Year award in 2020.
A funeral service for the slain officer will be held on Friday.
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