Prosecutors seek death penalty in murder of Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic

Bradley police sergeant shot as she begged for her life: prosecutors

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Prosecutors seek death penalty in Bradley police sergeant's murder
Disturbing new details in the murder of Bradley police sergeant Marlene Rittmanic were revealed in court Monday.

BRADLEY, Ill. (WLS) -- Prosecutors said Monday they want to seek the death penalty for the two people accused of shooting and killing one Bradley police officer and critically injuring her partner.

About a dozen officers, both with Kankakee County Sheriff's Office and Bradley Police Department, showed up to court alongside family Monday where a Kankakee County judge denied bail for Xandria Harris.

Harris is charged with three counts of first-degree murder for Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and one count of attempted murder of Officer Tyler Bailey.

RELATED | Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic killed in hotel shooting, partner injured

The state's attorney is not only seeking life in prison for both Darius Sullivan and Harris, who appeared in court through video, but is now also calling for the death penalty in what he called a "cold-blooded" killing.

Attorney Jim Rowe submitted an official request to the United States Attorney General, as Illinois is not a death penalty state.

WATCH | Community honors Bradley police sergeant killed in line of duty

Hundreds of people lined up in silence to honor Rittmanic during a procession to a Bourbonnais funeral home Thursday afternoon.

According to Rowe, 25-year-old Darius Sullivan first shot Officer Bailey when the two officers knocked on their door at the Comfort Inn the night of Dec. 29, then chased Rittmanic down the hallway of the hotel and shot her.

"Darius Sullivan fired two shots from what we believe was Sgt. Rittmanic's service weapon, striking Sgt. Rittmanic in or about the throat and or neck," Rowe said.

The entire incident was captured on Rittmanic's body-worn camera, Rowe said.

RELATED | Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic was 'leader in community policing'

There was audible crying in the court room as Rowe described how Harris, Sullivan's girlfriend at the time, assisted in disarming Sgt. Rittmanic for Sullivan to shoot her. Rittmanic later died of her injuries.

"At the time Sullivan fired those fatal shots to 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,'" Rowe said. "Throughout the entire interaction, she was pleading for her life."

After the shooting, Sullivan fled, according to police. Harris gathered her belongings and two children - who were also in the room at the time - and left the hotel, separate from Sullivan.

"I think it's clear your honor that this defendant actively assisted and enabled Sullivan throughout the course of the murder of Sgt. Rittmanic and the attempted murder of Officer Bailey. And she was equally as responsible," Rowe said.

Harris' attorney did not appear in court Monday. Sullivan remains in Indiana, where he fled after the shooting, and is fighting extradition to Illinois. Now authorities are working through the process of obtaining a governor's warrant to bring him to Illinois to face charges.