Rutland’s first officer line-of-duty death leads to aggravated murder accusation

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RUTLAND — Tate Rheaume, initially charged with negligent operation and eluding police resulting in death, now faces expanded charges including aggravated murder, as announced by the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s office.

This charge, carrying a mandatory life sentence without parole, is added to a series of other serious charges, bringing the maximum potential sentence to 65 years.

The charges stem from a tragic July incident where Rheaume, fleeing police after a break-in, collided with a cruiser driven by 19-year-old probationary Officer Ebbighausen, marking the first time a city police officer has been killed in the line of duty.

Rheaume’s actions, including driving at high speeds in a low-speed zone and intentionally steering into oncoming traffic, have significantly escalated the legal consequences he now faces.

Rheaume, who was out on $100,000 bail, is due for an in-person arraignment, with the State’s Attorney seeking to have him held without bail.

The severity of the charges reflects the incident’s circumstances, including Rheaume’s attempt to avoid arrest and the resulting fatal collision.

The community mourns Officer Ebbighausen, a young officer on the path to full certification, and grapples with the repercussions of the tragic event that has reverberated through the city.

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