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(L) FILE – This undated image provided by Augusta University shows Laken Hope Riley, a nursing student whose body was found Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Ga., after not returning from a run. (Augusta University via AP, File) / (R) Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:00 PM – Friday, May 31, 2024

During an arraignment hearing on Friday, the illegal immigrant from Venezuela who is suspected of brutally murdering Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley entered a not guilty plea.


Following the murder of Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student who was murdered while out on a run along dirt trails on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Jose Ibarra, 26, is now facing ten counts.

Riley’s mother, Allyson Phillips, began crying after he arrived at the Athens-Clarke County Superior Courthouse on Friday. According to a judge, a status hearing for the case will now take place in August, and a trial is anticipated by this fall.

Ibarra is accused of malicious murder, two counts of kidnapping with bodily injury, two counts of aggravated assault with intent to rape, two counts of aggravated battery, hindering someone from calling 911, tampering with evidence, and acting as a “peeping Tom.” These charges were brought against him by a grand jury.

“Ibarra is accused of causing Riley’s death by inflicting blunt-force trauma to her head and ‘asphyxiating her in a manner unknown to jurors,’ an indictment states,” Fox News reported.

The indictment goes on to say that on the day he purportedly killed Riley, the suspect went to an apartment on UGA’s “University Village Housing Building ‘S,’” where he “peeped through” a window and “spied upon” a university employee.

Ibarra lived in an apartment building on the border of the campus park, near the area where Riley would often jog.

UGA Police Chief Jeffrey Clark called the incident a “crime of opportunity.”

Riley’s morning run around the picturesque circle is conveniently located beside Ibarra’s apartment building. The approximate location of Riley’s death is a five-minute walk from Ibarra’s door.

According to previous press reports, ICE and DHS sources said that Ibarra, a Venezuelan national, entered the country illegally in September 2022 through El Paso, Texas, and was later released on parole.

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