Kentucky man admits to murdering deputy, sentenced to life in prison

Published 5:49 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

A Kentucky man who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the December shooting death of an Illinois sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.

Ray Tate, who was originally charged with 36 counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated vehicle hijacking and felony possession of a firearm, pleaded guilty to the one count of first-degree murder last month in the slaying of Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped the other charges.

Riley had responded to a motorist assist call on Dec. 29 and was found dead a short time later by another officer who had arrived at the scene. Riley’s squad car was later found abandoned on Interstate 64 in eastern Illinois.

Tate, 40, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, was arrested that afternoon at a home in nearby Carlyle where Tate allegedly committed a home invasion and took the homeowner hostage.

Tate still faces charges in connection with various crimes he allegedly committed the same day in Missouri. He also could face charges in Jefferson and Wayne counties for allegedly trying to escape this month from the Jefferson County jail.