A 23-year-old and alleged member of the 22nd Avenue Boys street gang is awaiting extradition in an Iowa county jail after he was captured by the U.S. Marshals early Thursday morning in connection with a 2015 murder at a Gary gas station.
The U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, which includes Gary officers, was assisted by the Scott County Sheriff's Department in the arrest of Dontrall "Trall" Phillips.
Phillips was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. at a residence in the 2600 block of North Pine Street in Davenport, Iowa, Mark Gregoline, inspector with the U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, told The Times.
Phillips was reportedly staying with a relative to evade police. He had previously appeared on Lake County's Most Wanted list for homicide.
Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said Phillips initially fled into another residence and barricaded himself. A Gary police dog assisting the U.S. Marshals that day was sent in to apprehend Phillips, who suffered a dog bite as a result, Hamady said.
Phillips was taken to Genesis Medical Center in Davenport to be treated for the K-9 bite before he was booked at 4:10 p.m. into the Scott County Jail, according to the Quad-City Times.
A botched robbery turns fatal
Phillips' charging information was not immediately available in Lake Criminal Court records on Thursday. However, a co-defendant, Walter A. Rondo III, was charged with murder and attempted robbery in June in connection with the case.
Rondo's charging documents detail how Phillips was one of two gang members allegedly involved in the ambush and botched robbery on April 12, 2015, at the 23rd Street gas station near Broadway.
Rondo told police he served as a lookout for Phillips and a second gang member while they robbed Donald Fuzzell, 21, and ultimately killed him in a shooting at the gas station, records show.
Rondo said he initially didn't come forward because he feared retaliation from Phillips and others involved.
A break in the case came through conversations with a woman jailed on burglary charges in May 2015, records state. She told police a day or two after the murder her boyfriend and his two friends confessed they attempted to rob a man at a gas station, but he fought back so they shot him twice.
When police first interviewed Phillips in June, he denied his involvement, instead telling police he heard of the murder only after it happened.
In a subsequent interview that same month, Phillips allegedly lied and said he only served as a lookout and that he was supposed to split proceeds with three other people.
However, a man also involved allegedly told police he and Rondo served as lookouts while Phillips and a second man carried out the armed robbery, records show.
Hamady commended the hard work of detectives who worked the case and members of the U.S. Marshals Service that assisted in his arrest.
"These individuals, they try to flee the area, but we tracked this guy down all the way to Iowa, and it was our Gary dog that bit him inside that closet," Hamady said. "Our detectives worked hard to put a good case together."