MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – They could not save her life, but a former marine and his wife were key to quickly finding the accused killer. The couple found themselves in the middle of a violent Illinois dispute like no other.
Only FOX 2 attended the Madison County murder trial to hear the unbelievable testimony.
The murder happened in February in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, right on the side of Highway 111. The trial is already underway because the defendant almost immediately asserted his right to a speedy trial.
Before we tell you the suspect’s name, we first need to introduce you to two heroes. Steven and Stacy O’Dell both testified on Tuesday.
They said they saw a woman running along Highway 111, in the area north of Interstate 270 and close to Bel Air Drive. They said the victim was running and sometimes hiding along the road as her 60-year-old boyfriend apparently stalked her in his Ford F-150. Stacy and Steven were both working nearby that day, driving separate cars. Stacy testified she saw the woman first and called her husband, Steven, asking him to come quickly.
Steven testified that he pulled over near the woman, adding that she ran in terror to his vehicle, even though he was a stranger. He testified that the suspect then drove his truck into the grass, crashed into the woman, and sped off. Steven said one of the woman’s legs was severed and that he used a truck radio cord as a tourniquet and called 911.
Prosecutors played the frantic call in court, in which Steven is trying to keep the victim, Lisa Dunnavant-Polach, alive. The witness also obtained key details for the police.
In the call, Steven is yelling, ‘Ma’am, talk to me. Talk to me. Do you know the guy? Who was that? What’s his name?’ (She said the name, and he repeated it on the call) His name is Richard Mayor!”
The victim died, but Steven helped police quickly find and identify the alleged suspect.
Mayor is representing himself in the trial, in which the defendant often seems confused while making inappropriate outbursts. At one point, he tried to admit photos into evidence that the judge pointed out were license plate reader photos from a completely different time than when the incident took place.
The trial continues on Wednesday.