A Madison County grand jury indicted four co-defendants Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis and the attempted robbery he was investigating before he was shot.
Raleigh Sizemore Jr., 34, the alleged shooter, was indicted on charges of murder, two counts of attempted murder, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, first-degree persistent felony offender, and first-degree attempted robbery.
Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith would not say Tuesday whether he will seek the death penalty. Kentucky law allows the death penalty in murder cases where there is an “aggravating circumstance” such as robbery, rape or the death of a police officer.
In addition to the Sizemore indictment, Gregory Ratliff, 25, was indicted on complicity to murder, two counts of complicity to attempted murder, and complicity to first-degree unlawful imprisonment.
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The grand jury also indicted Rita Creech, 44, and Carl Banks, 35, on charges related to the attempted robbery that Ellis was investigating and that led him to Ratliff’s Richmond apartment, where the shooting occurred.
All four defendants are scheduled to be arraigned Monday before Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse Jr.
Ellis, 33, was shot in the head Nov. 4 while investigating an attempted robbery earlier in the day at Main Street Gulf in Richmond. He died early Nov. 6, and his funeral at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum was attended by thousands.
Ellis, a seven-year veteran of the department, went to Ratliff’s apartment in search of Sizemore, who had hidden with Creech in the back bedroom. The indictment indicates that Sizmore was armed with a .22-caliber revolver.
Creech told police that 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.
Raleigh Sizemore committed the offense of murder by shooting Richmond Police Officer, Daniel Ellis, in the head, causing his death.
Madison County grand jury
Ratliff admitted lying to Ellis, telling the officer no one else and no weapons were in the apartment.
Police have said that Sizemore admitted shooting Ellis as Ellis entered the bedroom and firing at two other officers as they entered the apartment to help Ellis. The indictment identifies those other officers as Bob Mott and Devin Thomas. Sizemore was also wounded.
The indictment says Sizemore “committed the offense of murder by shooting Richmond Police Officer, Daniel Ellis, in the head, causing his death.”
The unlawful imprisonment count came as a result of Sizemore “restraining Creech under circumstances exposing her to risk of serious physical injury.”
Sizemore 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.
The indictment says Sizemore was previously convicted of 12 felonies “in at least seven separate circuit court cases.”
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 allegedly drove the minivan away from the gas station, police said.
The charge of being a persistent felony offender enhances the sentences Sizemore could receive on the charges of attempted murder, unlawful imprisonment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Sizemore was also indicted on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and violation of an emergency protective order. The indictment says he pointed a gun in the face of ex-wife Stacy Sizemore “while in an altercation with her,” on Nov. 2, two days before Ellis was shot.
A district judge entered “not guilty” pleas on behalf of Sizemore, Ratliff, Creech and Banks during their initial arraignments by video last week. The district judge had scheduled a preliminary hearing for Wednesday, but Tuesday’s indictments mean that hearing is not necessary and will be canceled.
Sizemore remains lodged at Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange in lieu of a $2.5 million bond. Ratliff, Creech and Banks remain lodged in the Madison County Detention Center.