— Staff Report
LEBANON — As the background to the man accused of killing a Warren County Sheriff’s deputy was released, shocking details of the crash were unveiled Wednesday.
Marcus Anthony Isreal, 22, was traveling at more than 100 mph when the black Cadillac he allegedly stole directly hit Sgt. Brian Dulle, launching him away from his cruiser, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
Dulle had placed tire deflating devices across U.S. 42 just before 2 a.m. Tuesday and was waiting for Isreal to pass near Utica Road during the high-speed chase led by Franklin police.
“He (Dulle) was hit directly with the car,” Fornshell said. “It was not a situation where the deputy was in his car. The deputy was thrown a significant distance. It was a violent situation.”
Isreal allegedly drove 18.3 miles in the late-night chase. The route he took, from the intersection of Park Avenue and Maple Street in Franklin to U.S. 42 near Lebanon, should take around 30 minutes, according to GoogleMaps. Isreal completed it in just more than 10 minutes.
A Franklin police officer had tried to pull over Isreal for allegedly speeding and having no working taillights.
After hitting Dulle, the Cadillac struck Dulle’s cruiser, then rolled and landed on Utica Road. Authorities say Isreal escaped the demolished vehicle and fled on foot. Following a massive manhunt that included helicopters and police dogs, Isreal was found more than four hours later and mile away from the crash site.
Dulle initially could not be found when other officers arrived on scene. When the sergeant’s body was found, his gun was missing, according to radio transmissions.
“Assume the subject is armed,” an officer alerted his fellow deputies, a report that was repeated several times. Tension grew as an alarm went off at a church officers were staking out and officers repeatedly checked each others’ locations over the scanner to ensure the vehicles within their sights were friendly.
Fifteen minutes later, Dulle’s gun was located several feet away from his body, according to radio dispatch.
The 22-year-old suspect accused in Dulle’s death has been in and out of prison for more than 2 1/2 years, since the age of 16. He was last released Feb. 12, 2010, from the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, where he served almost 16 months on aggravated robbery and drug possession convictions. He served seven months in 2007 and less than six months in 2005-06 in a state juvenile prison, according to prison records.
Isreal’s criminal background runs deeper than just the time he’s spent in court and lockup.
His younger brother, Cory Isreal, was sentenced to 43 years in prison for his involvement in the robbery and rape of a Middletown woman in October 2009.
Middletown police Detective David Swartzel, who has been assisting the Warren County Sheriff’s Office with investigating the events that led to Dulle’s death, said he worked the case involving Isreal’s brother.
“We readily knew who (Marcus Isreal) was,” Swartzel said.
Isreal was arrested along with Marqui Conley, now 18, and Darius Smiley, now 19, for aggravated robbery in 2008. Police said Marcus Isreal, Conley and Smiley robbed another man at gunpoint, taking his money and cell phone. As part of this incident, Isreal was sentenced to one year in prison, according to court documents.
Conley was recently sentenced to five years in prison in the death of 20-year-old TaShawn Smiley.
Swartzel said Isreal has lived in Middletown “for years” but had family in the Dayton area.
Isreal was enrolled at Middletown High School from 2005-08. However, according to Butler County Common Pleas Court documents, Isreal was in prison for most of that time after being convicted on the drug and burglary charges.
A Xenia woman, who said Isreal lived in her home for a short time earlier this year, said Wednesday that “her heart is grieving” the death of Dulle. “When Marcus got out of prison, he got involved in our church ministry,” Susan Murphy said. “Our church helped him find a job and he was in school learning to an HVAC technician at Fortis College in Centerville.”
She declined to identify the name of her church.
Murphy said Isreal had some financial difficulties and she allowed him to live in her home from January to March of this year.
“He lived at my home for three months but he decided not to live by my rules,” she said.
During that time, Murphy said Isreal had dropped out of school.
“Marcus has made some wrong decisions and made some wrong choices,” she said. “Obviously, he made some wrong choices (Tuesday). My heart is grieving over this.”
Isreal will be arraigned Thursday in Lebanon Municipal Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, and for failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.
Fornshell said as the investigation continues, Isreal could face additional charges, and that the case could be presented as soon as Friday to a Warren County grand jury for possible indictment.
Bill Edwards Sr., 40, of Middletown, owns the 2001 Cadillac that police were chasing when it fatally struck Dulle. The car, according to police, was stolen early Tuesday while it was running in front of the Take A Break Lounge in Middletown.
Edwards, a standout basketball player at Carlisle High School and Wright State University and a Middletown High School graduate, said he didn’t want to comment on his vehicle’s involvement in the accident. But Edwards expressed his sympathy to Dulle’s family and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
“My heart goes out to the officer and his family,” Edwards said Wednesday afternoon. “What happened was a tragic event. Officers are dedicated the way they serve their communities. This was very unfortunate.”
Staff Writers Justin McClelland and Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.