KANKAKEE — Citing body cam footage, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe revealed for the first time Wednesday that Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey had not unholstered their weapons when they were shot on Dec. 29 at Comfort Inn in Bradley.

Rowe offered the new information Wednesday in a Kankakee County courtroom where Darius D. Sullivan, 25, of Bourbonnais, appeared via video conferencing for a bond hearing.

“At the time Sullivan fired the fatal shots into Sgt. Rittmanic and life-threatening shots into Officer Bailey, neither officer had unholstered their weapon. Their weapons were not drawn,” Rowe said during Sullivan’s hearing before Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott.

Sullivan is facing first-degree murder charges, attempted murder charges and aggravated battery discharging a firearm. Bradshaw-Elliott denied bond for Sullivan.

Sullivan is charged with shooting Rittmanic and Bailey after they were called to the Comfort Inn in Bradley on Dec. 29 to check on a complaint of barking dogs left in a vehicle.

Rittmanic later died at Riverside Medical Center, and Bailey remains in critical condition at a Chicago area hospital.

Sullivan’s girlfriend, Xandria Harris, 26, of Bradley — who is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder — was also denied bond when she appeared in court Monday.

Wednesday’s hearing

Elliott asked Sullivan’s attorney, Bart Beals, if he wanted to argue before she made her decision.

“Your honor, just a couple of things,” Beals said. “First and foremost the state is doing their job. They have all the information.”

“The defense doesn’t have any of the discovery. I understand that’s the state’s rendition of what happened,” he said of Rowe’s description of the body cam footage. “I am not in a position to give the court a different view or something I disagree with what the body cam does and does not show. My client has not had a chance to see it.

“There is a lot of discussion in the media about what happened,” Beals continued. “My client still has the presumption of innocence. He has had no opportunity to defend himself. So it is difficult for me at this point to be heard on the issue of bail or the extreme issue of no bail.”

He said the defense reserves the right to discuss bail until it receives needed information from the state.

Beals is Sullivan’s attorney in a still-open misdemeanor battery case from 2021.

Sullivan failed to appear for a court date in that case last year and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Sullivan also has an open case from a 2018 residential burglary.

After the hearing, Beals said he would look into having Sullivan housed at another jail during the case. Asked if he would seek a change of venue for the trial, Beals said it is something he will think about.

The media coverage and social media postings since the shootings could play a factor in making that decision, he said.

Emotional moments

As Rowe was describing the events that transpired on Dec. 29, Sullivan appeared to become emotional, looking down and wiping his face.

Sullivan took part in the hearing via closed-circuit TV and was shown wearing a vest. Usually, male inmates wear an orange jumpsuit. But, Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey said Sullivan was wearing what is called a “suicide smock,” which is made of quilted material that cannot be tied.

“You saw how emotional he was at times during the hearing. It is really a precaution and for his safety,” Downey said. “He will be evaluated by our medical staff as well as have a mental health exam.”

Sullivan was also wearing a smock when he was in jail in Wabash County, Ind., Downey said.

The nature of the crime was another reason Sullivan was wearing the smock, he said.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.