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Sentencing Set for Friday for Man Accused of Murdering Sheriff’s Deputy in Wayne County

Ray Tate (Photo: WRXX, Centralia)

Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley (Photo: WRXX, Centralia)

FAIRFIELD – A 40-year-old Kentucky man who pleaded guilty to the 2021 murder of Wayne County, Illinois Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley is scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning in Wayne County Court.

Ray Tate was originally charged with 36 counts of first-degree murder, Class X felony aggravated vehicle hijacking and Class 2 felony possession of a firearm stemming from the December 2021 shooting death of Deputy Riley.

He pleaded guilty last month to the first-degree murder of Deputy Riley.

According to Illinois State Police, Deputy Riley was called for a “motorist assist” on Interstate 64. Following a brief encounter with Tate, Deputy Riley requested emergency assistance. Authorities say Tate fled in Deputy Riley’s cruiser before hijacking a semi-truck driver who he forced to drive him to Missouri.

Tate is accused of committing other crimes in Missouri, before returning to Illinois. He was taken into custody after a hostage situation in Clinton County.

He was transported to the Clinton County Jail where Wayne County authorities set his bond at $5 million.

Tate was later transferred to the Jefferson County Jail where earlier this month he allegedly attempted to escape.

He could still face possible charges in either Jefferson or Wayne County for the alleged escape attempt.