EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (TCD) — A jury convicted a 60-year-old man this week of intentionally fatally hitting his 46-year-old girlfriend with his truck during a dispute.
Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Haine announced Thursday, June 1, that a jury deliberated for 40 minutes before finding Richard Mayor guilty of first-degree murder in connection with Lisa Dunnavant-Polach’s death on Feb. 21, 2023.
According to Haine, Dunnavant-Polach was walking along Illinois 111 “trying to evade Mayor” when a witness driving a tractor-trailer noticed she “was in distress.” The witness, a former Marine, reportedly pulled over to assist her, and as she tried to get into the witness’ vehicle, Mayor struck her with his white pickup truck.
Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager showed surveillance video of the incident at the trial.
During testimony, the witness told jurors he “pulled the microphone wire off his CB radio and used it to tie a tourniquet on the victim’s severed leg,” Haine said. The victim reportedly told the witness that her boyfriend was the one who hit her.
According to Haine, Dunnavant-Polach told rescuers, “I have children. I’m not ready to die yet.”
Pontoon Beach Police responded to the scene and attempted lifesaving measures, but ultimately, Dunnavant-Polach was transported to a St. Louis hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Pontoon Beach Police identified a suspect vehicle and found Mayor’s disabled truck approximately 5 miles away on Illinois 203 in Granite City. Haine said a Madison County sheriff’s deputy located Mayor near the truck and took him into custody.
According to Haine, Mayor requested that jurors convict him of reckless homicide, a lesser offense, because he “accidentally struck the victim after his foot got stuck between his truck’s brake and accelerator.” He testified that he “continued driving after the impact because he ‘blacked out.'” Mayor also reportedly said he thought a deer caused the damage on his truck. Yager called Mayor’s statements “fantastical.”
In a statement, Haine said, “We highly commend the fellow motorists and emergency responders who heroically tried to help Lisa Dunnavant-Polach and save her life. These Good Samaritans continued to do the right thing, by having the courage to come to court and tell the jury what the victim could not: that it was Richard Mayor who mowed her down, and that she did not want to die.”
Mayor is eligible for an extended prison sentence of 60 to 100 years and will be sentenced at a later date.