EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Jurors in Madison County needed only 40 minutes of deliberation before returning a guilty verdict against a man who intentionally struck and killed a woman with his truck along a Pontoon Beach highway.
Lisa Dunnavant-Polach was killed on Feb. 21, along Illinois 111, in the area north of Interstate 270 near Bel Air Drive.
Dunnavant-Polach was running on foot and attempting to evade Richard Mayor, who was driving a Ford F-150. Prosecutors said they had been in a relationship, but got into a dispute prior.
Stacy O’Dell saw what was happening and called her husband, Steven, and asked him to come and help. Steven, who was driving a tractor-trailer, pulled over along the side of the highway to help Dunnavant-Polach. As Dunnavant-Polach ran to get into the tractor-trailer, the F-150 slammed into her and sped off.
Steven O’Dell, a former Marine, testified that one of Dunnavant-Polach’s legs was severed, and that he used a microphone cord from his CB radio to tie a tourniquet around her leg.
Steven called 911 and asked Dunnavant-Polach if she knew who hit her. She identified Mayor as the man behind the wheel of the pickup.
Dunnavant-Polach was taken to a St. Louis hospital, but later succumbed to her injuries. She was 46.
Mayor’s vehicle was located about five miles away on Illinois 203 in Granite City. A Madison County sheriff’s deputy noticed that the vehicle had become disabled and saw Mayor nearby. Mayor was arrested without incident.
The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Mayor with first-degree murder.
Mayor represented himself during trial. He asked the jury to consider a reduced charge of reckless homicide. He did not deny hitting Dunnavant-Polach with his truck. Instead, Mayor claimed his food got stuck between the brake and gas pedal, and that he blacked out after the incident. He believed the damage to his truck was caused by striking a deer.
Mayor will be sentenced at a later date. He faces between 60 and 100 years in state prison.