Kentucky man accused of killing Wayne Co. deputy pleads guilty to first degree murder

A 40-year-old Kentucky man who is accused of shooting to death Wayne County Sheriff Deputy Sean Riley during a crime spree late last year has pleaded guilty to first degree murder.

According to WMIX, Ray Tate, who is in custody in Jefferson County for Wayne County, entered the plea as part of an amended count on Thursday. Tate was originally charged with 36 counts of first-degree murder, a Class X felony aggravated vehicle highjacking and a Class 2 felony possession of a firearm.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 22 at 9 a.m.

Riley was called on Dec. 29 to a motorist assist on Interstate 64 after a passerby called in the report. When other officers arrived at the scene, they found Riley’s body but his squad cruiser had been stolen. Police say Tate had fled in Riley’s cruiser before hijacking a semi-truck driver and forced him to drive him to Missouri.

Tate then allegedly stole several more vehicles in Missouri and Illinois before he was taken into custody after a hostage situation in rural Clinton County. Tate also faces additional charges in Missouri and Clinton County.

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