Laken Riley’s Alleged Killer Indicted On Multiple Counts

( – Laken Riley was a nursing student at Augusta University College of Nursing in Georgia. The 22-year-old never had the opportunity to finish school, she was brutally murdered while jogging. Her alleged killer has now been indicted.

On Tuesday, May 7, a grand jury indicted Jose Antonio Ibarra on 10 charges. The indictment alleges the 26-year-old Venezuelan migrant inflicted “blunt force trauma to [Riley’s] head and” killed her by asphyxiation. It also accuses the immigrant of disfiguring the victim by hitting her in the head repeatedly with a rock.

The indictment includes charges of malice murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated assault with intent to rape, tampering with evidence, aggravated battery, and preventing her from making an emergency telephone call, among other offenses. Ibarra was also charged with a peeping tom offense that alleges he looked through someone’s window on the same day he reportedly killed Riley.

The suspect is accused of killing Riley in February while she was running through Oconee Forest Park on the University of Georgia campus. He reportedly encountered her on a trail and blocked her as she tried to contact 911. Prosecutors allege he pulled up her clothes so he could sexually assault her, then strangled and bludgeoned her. Ibarra is being held in jail without bond.

On Thursday, Democratic Senator Jon Tester (MT) announced he would support the Laken Riley Act. The bill requires federal officials to detain illegal immigrants who commit crimes like shoplifting or burglary. They would be held until they were deported.

The legislation has already passed the House but was having trouble getting through the Senate. If Democrats don’t filibuster it, the bill could pass the Senate with a simple majority now that Tester has expressed support. Tester has been trying to set himself apart from his party on immigration. He has taken a hardline approach to the issue.

Ibarra has not issued a plea in the case.

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