Prosecutor wants death penalty for Illinois police shooting pair

State News

This combo of images released by the Illinois State Police, shows Darius D. Sullivan, left, and Xandria A. Harris, two people authorities were searching for Thursday, Dec. 30 2021, who are believed to have been involved in the fatal shooting of one police officer and wounding of another at a northern Illinois hotel. (Illinois State Police via AP)

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — A prosecutor said Monday he’ll ask the Justice Department to review the case of two people charged in the shootings of two police officers at a northern Illinois hotel with the intention of pursuing federal death penalty charges.

Illinois is not a death penalty state, but the U.S. Attorney General can authorize the filing of a petition to seek the death penalty in a federal murder case under certain circumstances, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said during a bond hearing for Xandria Harris, 26, of Bradley in Kankakee County Circuit Court.

“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.

Sullivan and Harris are charged with fatally shooting Bradley police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, 49, and critically wounding her partner, Officer Tyler Bailey, 27, late Wednesday. Bailey is hospitalized at a Chicago-area hospital.

The State’s Attorney will also seek life sentences for both Sullivan and Harris as the existing state-level charges proceed, Rowe said.

Judge Kathy Bradshaw Elliott granted a request to deny Harris bail.

“You are a real threat to the community,” Elliott told Harris.

Sullivan, 25, of Bourbonnais was arrested Friday at a home in North Manchester, Indiana, police said.

The case will go before a Kankakee County grand jury on Jan. 22. The next court date for Harris is Jan. 27 when she will be arraigned.

In Wabash, Indiana, meanwhile, Sullivan is fighting extradition to Illinois. Rowe said he will start the process of asking Indiana’s governor to sign a warrant to have Sullivan extradited to Kankakee County.

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