Laken Riley: Venezuelan charged with murdering Georgia nurse

Laken Riley: Venezuelan charged with murdering Georgia nurse
Laken Riley: Venezuelan charged with murdering Georgia nurse

40 minutes ago

Image source, Kanaan Rogers/Gofundme

Image caption, An undated photograph of Laken Riley

A Venezuelan has been charged with murdering 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.

A grand jury in Georgia filed 10 charges against Jose Ibarra, 26, an undocumented migrant accused of killing Ms Riley in February.

Her death became a flashpoint in the US immigration debate and was referred to by President Joe Biden in his State of the Union speech.

Mr Ibarra is also accused of attempted rape and spying on another student.

Ms Riley was killed while jogging at the University of Georgia on 22 February.

Police have previously said that Mr Ibarra did not know Ms Riley and called her death a “crime of opportunity”.

On Tuesday, a grand jury in Georgia charged him with multiple counts of murder, battery, assault with attempt to rape, hindering a 911 call and tampering with evidence.

Image source, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office

Image caption, Mr Ibarra, 26, is charged with Ms Riley’s murder

The jury’s indictment says that Ms Riley died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation after Mr Ibarra hit her in the head with a rock.

The jury also determined that there was evidence he visited a University of Georgia building on the morning of the killing, “for the purpose of becoming a peeping Tom in that he did peep through the window and spied upon and invaded the privacy” of an unnamed person

A lawyer representing Mr Ibarra has not yet commented on the new charges.

Ms Riley’s murder shook the community and was seized upon by conservatives as an argument for tougher immigration laws.

Mr Biden addressed her case in his speech to Congress in March.

“Laken Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That’s right, but how many thousands of people are killed by legals?” Mr Biden said.

Mr Biden later said he regretted using the term “illegal” and should have described the suspect as “undocumented”.

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