Laken Riley’s Accused Killer May Have Committed Another Crime the Same Day

News & Politics

José Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, allegedly encountered nursing student Laken Riley as she jogged on a trail on the campus of the University of Georgia on Feb. 22. Police say that Ibarra savagely beat and murdered Riley in an incident that shocked the UGA community. 

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WSB Radio reports that court documents “charge Ibarra with asphyxiating Riley, along with ‘seriously disfiguring her head by striking her head multiple times with a rock.’” He faces a litany of charges, including “malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call, and concealing the death of another.”

Prosecutors have also indicted Ibarra for another crime that he allegedly committed the same day, albeit one that pales in comparison to Riley’s murder. 

“According to new documents filed Tuesday, Ibarra is now also charged with spying on a University of Georgia staff member,” WSB reports. “Documents say he went to an apartment at University Village Housing Building ‘S’ and peeped through the woman’s window on the same day he is accused of killing Riley.”

“The new indictment adds three charges including aggravated assault with attempt to rape, tampering with evidence, and peeping Tom,” the report continues. “The tampering with evidence charge accuses him of hiding a jacket and gloves to attempt to keep him from getting caught.”

Riley’s murder went from a local crime story to a national headline when authorities revealed that Ibarra was in the country illegally. The killing then became a rallying cry for those who were fed up with the damage that the Biden border crisis has wrought on the country. 

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Related: Laken Riley’s Murder Is the Fault of Democrats at Every Level of Government

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.) gave the president a Laken Riley pin as he walked into the chamber for the State of the Union address. UGA held a vigil to honor Riley along with another student who died the same week. Members of the Georgia Congressional delegation — from both parties — memorialized Riley on the House floor.

Although nothing can bring Riley back or take away the grief that her family and friends are experiencing, her death has led to some positive developments. UGA has taken steps to beef up its security throughout its expansive campus, while Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.),an Athens native and UGA alumnus, is using his considerable platform to help draw attention to the border crisis.

Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.), whose district includes UGA and Athens-Clarke County, introduced the Laken Riley Act, which “require[s] the Secretary of Homeland Security to take into custody aliens who have been charged in the United States with theft, and for other purposes.” The bill passed the House but is stuck in committee in the Senate.

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Riley’s tragic death has also shed light on the woke leadership of Athens-Clarke County and its unofficial sanctuary city policies. An astonishing series of emails demonstrated how little concern local government officials had in the days following Riley’s murder; officials worried more about optics and tiptoeing around criminal illegal immigrants than they did about a local resident dying a horrific death. As a result, local elections in Athens-Clarke County have become a referendum on woke leadership

Once again, it may not bring comfort to Riley’s loved ones, but if her death is not in vain, maybe her legacy will be the start of a better community, campus, and nation.

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