Hannibal Courier-Post

Ray waives arraignment in shooting case

Tracey Marie Ray
Forrest Gossett
Special to The Courier-Post
Posted: Jul. 13, 2020 11:40 am

CENTER, Mo. | The former Center city clerk, who is charged with allegedly firing shots that wounded two Ralls County Sheriff's officers, waived arraignment during a hearing in Boone County late last month.

Tracey Ray faces four felony charges related to a late-night stand-off with Ralls County Sheriff's deputies on July 2, 2019, which resulted in an alleged exchange of gunfire that left Ray with three gunshot wounds.

A police report said that Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie and Ralls County Chief Deputy Ronald Haught were injured with bullet fragments and ground debris during the exchange.

Visiting Judge Gregory Allsberry of Lincoln County was appointed to preside over Ray's case, which was shifted from Ralls County to Boone County.

Ray was freed last summer on bond of $2.500, after a hearing that reduced her bond from $50,000 cash-only. During the arraignment, Allsberry approved a request from Ray's lawyer, Jennifer Richardson of Hannibal, to modify Ray's bond conditions to allow her to transport her son to and from summer baseball games.

Ray is charged with felonies – two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. She faces up to life in prison on each of the assault counts. The armed criminal action charges carry penalties of no fewer than three years without possibility of parole.

At the time of the incident, Ray had been questioned by Center officials after they discovered the city was facing fines of more than $146,000 for failing to file annual financial reports with the Missouri Department of Revenue since 2015. She was fired by the Board of Aldermen on July 3, 2019.

Since her dismissal, officials have discovered more than $270,000 in questionable and what Mayor Dennis McMillen has called unauthorized credit card and insurance payments made from the city's bank accounts for the general fund and sewer fund.

Center's Board of Aldermen immediately requested an audit from Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway's office. Her office and the FBI have been investigating the Center financial irregularities since August 2019. City officials expect to be presented with audit findings by the end of this summer.

The case involving misuse of city funds is being prosecuted by the Missouri Attorney General's Office.