RICHMOND — A judge entered pleas of not guilty Monday on behalf of four people charged in the fatal shooting of Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis and the attempted robbery he was investigating before his death.
Madison District Judge Brandy Oliver Brown entered the plea for Raleigh Sizemore Jr., 34, on charges of murder of a police officer, two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, unlawful imprisonment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Sizemore was arraigned via video conference from Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange, where he is being held.
Brown set bond at $2.5 million for Sizemore, who was represented by public defender Teresa Whitaker. Brown also scheduled a preliminary hearing Nov. 18, when she will determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.
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Richmond police Chief Larry Brock and several Richmond police officers were in court for the arraignment.
Brown also entered pleas of not guilty for Gregory Ratliff, 35, Rita Creech, 44, and Carl Banks, 35, who were arraigned by video from the Madison County jail. Brown set bond at $2 million for Ratliff, who was represented by public defenders Rodney Barnes and Nathan Goodrich.
Creech and Banks were arraigned without attorneys present. They and Ratliff also have preliminary hearings set for Nov. 18.
Ellis, 33, was shot in the head Wednesday morning while investigating an attempted robbery earlier in the day at Main Street Gulf in Richmond. He died early Friday. Visitation is Tuesday and the funeral is Wednesday, both at Eastern Kentucky University's Alumni Coliseum.
Ellis will be buried in Dunnville in Casey County, between Liberty and Russell Springs.
The robbery investigation led Ellis, a seven-year veteran of the department, to Ratliff's apartment in search of Sizemore, who had hidden with Creech in a back bedroom.
Creech, who was charged with complicity to first-degree robbery, told police Sizemore forced her to go into the bedroom by holding a gun to her head. Ratliff told police Sizemore threatened to shoot him if Ratliff let police inside. Sizemore allegedly told Ratliff he didn't want to return to prison.
Ratliff admitted to lying to Ellis, telling the officer no one else and no weapons were in the apartment. Ratliff is charged with complicity to murder of a police officer.
Police have said that Sizemore admitted shooting Ellis as Ellis entered the bedroom and firing at other officers as they entered the apartment to help Ellis. Sizemore also was wounded.
Sizemore had served three years of a 10-year sentence for manufacturing methamphetamine and first-degree criminal mischief when he was released from prison in April. He then absconded parole.
Creech told police Sizemore attempted to rob a woman at the Gulf station after being driven there in a Toyota Sienna minivan. Creech admitted she was in the front passenger seat in the van.
Banks, charged with complicity to first-degree robbery, allegedly drove the minivan away from the gas station, police said. He remains in the Madison jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.