Richard D. MayorEDWARDSVILLE - A man convicted of murder for intentionally striking a woman with his truck has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Tuesday that Richard D. Mayor, 60, of East St. Louis, had received the sentence.

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In June, a jury found Mayor guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Lisa M. Dunnavant-Polach, 46, of Washington Park. The two had been in a relationship but became involved in a dispute.

Mayor struck Dunnavant-Polach with his pickup as she walked along Illinois Route 111 on Feb. 21, 2023. The impact nearly severed one of her legs, and she died later at a hospital.

“This was a cowardly yet cruel act by a criminal who has no regard for others,” Haine said. “To this day, this perpetrator refuses to take responsibility for his actions.” Evidence and testimony at trial showed that Dunnavant-Polach was on foot along Illinois 111 and trying to evade Mayor, who was driving a pickup. The driver of a tractor-trailer, seeing that the victim was in distress, pulled over to help her. As Dunnavant-Polach tried to get into the semi, she was hit by Mayor’s pickup. The driver of the semi, a former Marine, testified that he pulled the microphone wire off his CB radio and used it to tie a tourniquet on the victim’s severed leg. Despite her injuries, Dunnavant-Polach was able to tell the semi-driver that the pickup was driven by her boyfriend.

“Our hope is that this sentence brings a measure of justice to Lisa Dunnavant-Polach’s family and loved ones, as well as the people who heroically tried to save her life,” Haine said. “With this sentence, we at least know that Richard Mayor will never again pose a threat to our community. This is effectively a life sentence.”

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Madison County Circuit Judge Kyle Napp imposed the sentence. Mayor is required to serve the entire 60-year term.

According to trial testimony, the injured Dunnavant-Polach told rescuers: “I have children. I’m not ready to die yet.”

Pontoon Beach Police quickly arrived on the scene, attempting life-saving measures and developing information about a suspect vehicle. Mayor’s vehicle, a white pickup which had become disabled, was soon located about 5 miles away on Illinois 203 in Granite City.

A Madison County sheriff’s deputy located Mayor near the vehicle and took him into custody. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager and Assistant State’s Attorney Morgan Hudson. At the sentencing hearing, Yager called Mayor “an extreme danger to society.”

At trial, Mayor testified that he accidentally struck the victim after his foot got stuck between his truck’s brake and accelerator. He also testified that he continued driving after the impact because he “blacked out.”

In addition, he testified that he figured the damage to his truck was caused by hitting a deer. “The strong work of police, the testimony of the witnesses and the diligence of prosecutors resulted in this conviction and sentence,” Haine said.

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