Vermont Man Charged with Aggravated Murder in 2023 Crash that Killed Police Officer

Jessica Ebbighausen had become a police officer just months before the fatal crash

<p>Vermont State Police/AP</p> Jessica Ebbighausen

Vermont State Police/AP

Jessica Ebbighausen

A Vermont man was placed behind bars after being charged with aggravated murder for allegedly striking a 19-year-old police officer with his car.

The crash that killed Jessica Ebbighausen occurred in July 2023 in Rutland, according to reports from WCAX, NBC 5 and VTDigger. 

The outlets report, citing authorities, that Tate Rheaume was initially charged with grossly negligent operation with death resulting and eluding police and was released on $100,000 bond. But nearly a year after the crash, his charges were upgraded, and he could now face life in prison.

Authorities claim that Rheaume was fleeing police who were pursuing him on July 7 when he struck Ebbighausen’s cruiser head-on with his pickup truck, the outlets report.

<p>Gordon Dristchilo/The Rutland Herald/AP</p> Tate Rheaume

Gordon Dristchilo/The Rutland Herald/AP

Tate Rheaume

Because of the upgraded charges, Rheaume was remanded to jail to be held without bail, VTDigger reported. The outlet reported he has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. It is unclear if he's retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

“The facts of this particular case support that charge,” Rutland police Chief Brian Kilcullen said to WCAX. “We absolutely support holding Mr. Rheaume accountable to the highest degree that we can.”

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Ebbighausen had just become a police officer before she was killed, which fulfilled a long-time dream. WCAX reported that she had joined the department two months before and was undergoing training.

Her family started a GoFundMe to raise money for her family.

“Since Jessica was 9 years old she dreamed of becoming a Police Officer,” the organizer wrote. “At the young age of 19, her dreams came true when she was able to wear the Rutland City Police Officer uniform.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.