The Kentucky man charged with allegedly killing a Wayne County deputy on December 29 has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts.
In Wayne County Circuit Court last Wednesday, Ray E. Tate, Jr., age 40, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, through his court-appointed attorney, entered the not guilty plea to 38 criminal counts.
Thirty-six of them pertain to the first degree murder case. Tate is also charged with aggravated vehicle hijacking and felony possession and use of a firearm.
A jury trial date is to be set. The next court date in the case is March 15.
Deputy Riley was responding to a motorist assist call early December 29 on Interstate 64, and when other officers arrived at the scene, they found Riley’s body and his police vehicle was gone.
Authorities have alleged Tate drove that vehicle, then hijacked a semi unit and forced the driver to take him to St. Peters, Missouri, where carjackings, robberies and shootings occurred.
Tate then returned to Illinois, allegedly with a kidnap victim in a stolen vehicle. The car was spotted in rural Carlyle. Its alleged Tate took another hostage and held police at bay in another rural Carlyle home, where he was taken into custody. No hostages were injured.