Accused Killer of Laken Riley Charged with 10 Counts Including Intent to Rape and Murder

Jose Ibarra, the Venezuelan migrant suspected in the murder of nursing student Laken Riley, was officially charged Wednesday with 10 counts, including a new charge for assaulting her during an attempted rape in the February attack.

Riley’s murder on the University of Georgia campus sparked national attention surrounding illegal immigration issues.

Ibarra, 26, who illegally entered the United States in 2022 near El Paso, Texas, has been indicted on three counts of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with intent to rape, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and tampering with evidence, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The new assault charges were not part of the initial allegations against Ibarra, who was living in an apartment less than a mile from the University of Georgia campus. Ibarra had a previous shoplifting charge but failed to appear in court.

Additionally, Ibarra is accused of being a “peeping Tom” and spying on a UGA staff member through her window from an on-campus apartment on the same day Riley, 22, was killed.

Riley, a nursing student, was found beaten to death on the university campus after going for a run.

The charges against Ibarra involve multiple indictments, with a count of felony murder for each underlying felony charge that allegedly led to the victim’s death.

Malice murder is also included, as it is a charge when someone is accused of intentionally causing another person’s death.

The underlying felonies in Riley’s murder include kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated assault with intent to rape, and aggravated battery, all of which led to separate charges.

The indictment claims that Ibarra attempted to rape Riley before suffocating her and hitting her head multiple times with a rock.

Ibarra is also accused of tampering with evidence by hiding gloves and a jacket to avoid arrest.

He is currently held in custody in Clarke County, Georgia, and has not entered a plea for the charges.

Two of Ibarra’s brothers, facing unrelated criminal charges, also entered the United States illegally, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Meanwhile, Riley’s father, Jason Riley, expressed frustration with the politicization of his daughter’s murder due to Ibarra’s immigration status, telling NBC News in March that his daughter should be remembered for who she was, not for political agendas.

Riley’s parents are divorced, and her mother, along with other family and friends, attended a campaign rally with Donald Trump, where Trump apologized for calling Ibarra an “illegal” and denounced President Joe Biden for misrepresenting Riley’s name in the State of the Union address earlier in the week.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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