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Man accused in Illinois deputy’s death, St. Peters shooting reportedly tried to escape from jail

Ray Tate
Ray Tate(Clinton Co. Illinois Jail)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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MT. VERNON, Ill. (KMOV) -- A man accused of going on a multi-state crime spree that left an Illinois deputy dead and a St. Peters man injured reportedly attempted to escape from jail.

Early Monday morning, correctional officers discovered detainee Ray Tate had gotten out of his cell and was attempting to escape, according to the Jefferson County, Illinois Sheriff’s Office. Tate is being held at the facility after being charged in Wayne County, Illinois Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley’s death. He is also accused of shooting and carjacking a man at a St. Peters, Missouri gas station.

The sheriff said Tate found a way to get out of his cell due to a flaw in the original construction of the Justice Center. The flaw was limited to three specialty cells, and the sheriff plans to inform the Sheriff’s Association about it so jails with similar construction can take corrective steps.

During the attempted escape, jail property was damaged, but Tate’s cell was the only one found unsuitable following the attempted escape, according to the sheriff. Repairing the damaged areas will be coordinated by the Sheriff’s Office Maintenance Supervisor.

The jail was on night shift lockdown when Tate was taken back into custody and secured. Deputies and officers from the Mt. Vernon Police Department set up an exterior perimeter at the Justice Center while a headcount and security check were conducted.

The sheriff’s office said charges against Tate for the attempted escape will be reviewed after the criminal investigation is complete.