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Tate Seeking to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Murder

Ray Tate (Photo: Clinton County Jail)

FAIRFIELD – A 41-year-old Kentucky man who pleaded guilty in Wayne County Court to the first-degree murder last year of Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley has filed a motion seeking to withdraw that plea, claiming he was coerced.

In addition to claiming coercion for his guilty plea, Ray E. Tate claims in the motion handwritten from his prison cell at Menard Correctional Center that he wasn’t allowed phone calls, mail, or visits and was threatened that unless he took a plea, he would not be allowed any of those rights.

He also claims he had inadequate legal representation and wasn’t allowed to call, write, or have adequate visits with his attorney; and was not mentally competent to enter a plea claiming he saw and heard things in court that made him question his mental competence.

Tate was never given mental evaluation but his mental fitness to stand trial was never questioned.

Tate pleaded guilty in March to a single count of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison the next month

He’s scheduled to be returned to the Wayne County Courthouse next Tuesday for a hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Security is expected to be as tight as Tate attempted to escape from the Jefferson County Jail in Mt. Vernon while being held in pretrial custody.