$1M bond for teen in fatal DUI crash

July 11, 2011 2:43:37 PM PDT
A teenager was drunk and high on drugs during a police chase Sunday morning when he crashed a stolen SUV, killing a 911 dispatcher, prosecutors say.

Marquis Harrison, 16, appeared in court Monday. Harrison is accused of drinking alcohol, taking ecstasy and smoking marijuana at a party before he allegedly stole a Range Rover on Michigan Avenue, led police on a chase, and crashed the SUV into another car at Armitage and Hoyne.

The crash killed Marciea Adkins, who worked as a 911 police operator for the Chicago Police Department. The 42-year-old was on her way home when the Range Rover allegedly driven by Harrison struck her car in the Bucktown neighborhood. She was just blocks from her home, police said.

The flag now flies at half-staff at Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) where Adkins worked.

"You need to be calm and I gotta say, she handled it well... She was very personable, very warm hearted, kind. Never had a mean thing to say," Sam Dilberto said of Adkins. "I was on duty and we heard that a dispatcher was involved in a car accident. We didn't know to what extent."

Harrison faces several charges -- first-degree murder, felony burglary and misdemeanor DUI -- and received two citations.

"After being given his Miranda and juvenile warnings, and with his guardian present, the defendant gave a statement admitting to drinking vodka, narcotics and stealing a car, crashing into victim's vehicle," Chris Costello, assistant state's attorney, said.

Police say the chase began when Harrison tried to hit officers after running a red light near Elston and Blackhawk.

"During the stop, the defendant fled, backing into the third victim's vehicle and almost striking the fourth and fifth victims, Chicago police officers who were outside of their vehicles," Costello said.

Bond for Harrison was set at $1 million.

Adkins has worked as a dispatcher since 1996. Police have set up a memorial fund to help her family:

Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union
The Marciea L Adkins Fund
1407 W Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Donations can also be taken over the phone by calling 312-726-8814 and speaking to a representative.

Complete statement by OEMC Executive Director Gary Schenkel regarding the death of a 911 police dispatcher

On behalf of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, we are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of a female police 911 dispatcher this morning. The dispatcher was driving home after her shift when she was struck and killed by another driver early this morning.

We are not releasing the dispatcher's name at this time pending the notification of next of kin. I also ask that the media respect the family's privacy during this difficult time.

She was 42 years old and had worked at the OEMC since December 1996. According to her coworkers and supervisors, she was the nicest, most positive person you would ever want to meet.

We extend our deepest sympathy to her family. Grief counselors will be on site to assist OEMC employees.


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