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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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March 18, 2022


Chicago  —  Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a Kentucky man pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting of a Wayne County sheriff’s deputy during a crime spree that spanned three states.

Ray Tate, 40, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky pleaded guilty in Wayne County Circuit Court to the murder of 38-year-old Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley. After initially pleading not guilty to 38 counts that included first-degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a firearm by a felon, Tate pleaded guilty to first degree murder of a peace officer, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He will be sentenced at a hearing April 22.

“While nothing will ever make up for the loss to Deputy Sean Riley’s family, friends and loved ones, I hope this guilty plea brings them some degree of justice and aids in their healing,” Raoul said. “I appreciate the partnership of the Wayne County State’s Attorney’s office as we collaborated to ensure the defendant is held accountable for the trauma he created.”

According to the Attorney General’s office, Deputy Riley was killed while responding to a motorist call for assistance on Interstate 64 during the early morning hours of Dec. 29. Tate, who had an active warrant for his arrest related to an armed robbery in Indiana, shot Deputy Riley several times and fled the scene in the deputy’s squad car. Tate allegedly stole several vehicles throughout Illinois and Missouri. He ultimately was apprehended in Illinois after forcing his way into a home near Carlyle where he held the homeowner and one of his carjacking victims at gunpoint.

The Attorney General’s office co-prosecuted the case with Wayne County State’s Attorney Kevin Kakac’s office.

Tate is still facing armed robbery and armed kidnapping charges in Missouri.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Falagario and Myra Yelle-Clark prosecuted the case for Raoul’s Criminal Prosecutions and Trials Assistance Bureau.

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