KENOSHA COUNTY — 19-year-old Daniel Tate, the man accused of killing 17-year-old Olivia Mackay, and his alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Jamari Cook entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them on Tuesday morning, August 15th.
A detective with the Kenosha Police Department testified in Tate’s preliminary hearing. Then the court found probable cause in the case — and bound Tate over for trial. Jury selection is set to begin on January 8, 2018. As for Cook, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing, the court found probable cause and his jury selection is also set to begin on January 8th.
Mackay’s body was discovered in Mount Pleasant on July 24th, on Louis Sorenson Road. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be strangulation. She was the subject of a missing person’s report after she failed to show up to work.
Tate is charged with the following criminal counts:
- First degree intentional homicide
- Hiding a corpse, as party to a crime
- Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, as party to a crime
His alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Jamari Cook of Kenosha, faces one count of hiding a corpse as party to a crime, and one count of taking and driving a vehicle without consent, as party to a crime. He may not have killed Mackay, but prosecutors say he helped hide her body.
A criminal complaint indicates investigators spoke with Jamari Cook on August 4th. He indicated he was staying with Tate on July 23rd, and they were staying at his grandmother’s home on Sheridan Road. Cook said Tate “meets a lot of girls online,” and he had arranged to meet up with a girl later identified as Mackay on July 23rd.
On July 23rd, Cook said Mackay picked up Tate and Cook and they drove down by the “Band Shell” near 35th Street and 7th Avenue in Kenosha, before heading down to Racine, eventually returning to the Band Shell. They then walked down by the lake.
Cook said Tate and Mackay were hugging, and he “gave them some space.” The complaint indicates Cook later saw Tate choking Mackay — “lifting her off of the ground.” He described it as a “sleeper hold,” and said Mackay became motionless. Cook said he then saw Tate holding Mackay under the water for five minutes — with one knee on her back and his hands by her head and shoulder area. Cook said Tate then found an apron-type piece of clothing on the beach, and wrapped it around her neck — “pulling back until her head and upper body were bent backwards.” Cook said Mackay was no longer moving and Tate took her body back to her car, where Tate asked Cook for help lifting her into the trunk. Cook said he helped because “there was no going back now.”
Cook told investigators they lifted the body into the trunk and Cook got into the driver’s seat, and Tate told him where to go. Cook said he asked Tate what he wanted to do with the body, and Tate said “he didn’t know yet.” Cook said he eventually drove to an area in Racine County, where they stopped and Tate wrapped Mackay’s body in garbage bags. They then carried her to an area where “there were a lot of weeds” and laid her on her back under the bushes “where they thought no one would find her,” the complaint says.
According to the complaint, Cook said he asked Tate what he was going to do with the car, and he said he was going to “flip it” for money.Tate then drove, dropping Cook off at his girlfriend’s house, the complaint says.
Investigators discovered a Facebook Messenger conversation where Tate was trying to sell Mackay’s vehicle to an individual, to whom he had sent a picture of it, the complaint says.
In court on Monday, August 7th for his initial appearance, cash bond was set at $20,000 for Cook. A preliminary hearing was set for August 15th.
A criminal complaint filed against Tate indicates he was interviewed on August 3rd, the day he was arrested in this case. According to the complaint, he at first denied any social media contact with Mackay, but when confronted with evidence, he said he had been in contact with Mackay on social media, and he had met up with her on July 23rd, but only for five minutes, and then she left.
When he was confronted with further information regarding the investigation, the complaint indicates Tate admitted he was with Cook on July 23rd, and they were in the area of the Band Shell on 7th Avenue in Kenosha, in the beach area near Lake Michigan along Kenosha’s lakefront. He said a third-party, who he named, approached Mackay and “began to strangle her for no apparent reason.”
This named third-party was brought into the Kenosha Police Department and provided information to indicate he could not have been present along the lakefront on July 23rd, the complaint says.
When confronted with this information, the complaint indicates Tate said “the person who choked Mackay was a mysterious person he had never met before,” but he said it occurred in his presence. He said afterwards, Mackay got back into her vehicle with this mysterious third-party, and they drove away in Mackay’s car. Tate said he had no idea Mackay had passed away until he was told by a detective. He said he had never been in Mackay’s vehicle again after she gave him a ride on July 23rd.
The complaint says Cook told investigators after Mackay’s death, he was contacted by Tate several times — and Tate would message him with details about the death and investigation. The complaint says Tate and Cook were caught on camera operating Mackay’s vehicle at Wheaton Franciscan Hospital in Racine days after her death.