U.S.

Suspect in Laken Riley’s Killing Indicted on Murder and Other Charges

A grand jury in Georgia has indicted a man on charges including malice murder and aggravated assault in connection with the killing of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student whose death in February became a flashpoint in the partisan fight over immigration and crime.

The killing on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens rattled the community there, but the case drew national interest after investigators zeroed in on the man, Jose Antonio Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan who entered the United States illegally and had previously been arrested on suspicion of minor, nonviolent offenses.

Mr. Ibarra, who has been in custody since the day after the Feb. 22 killing, had already been charged with murder. But the 10-count indictment, which was handed up on Tuesday and pushes the criminal case forward, revealed more about the circumstances surrounding the attack. It also leveled new allegations against Mr. Ibarra, including that he peeped into the windows of someone else’s campus apartment on the day Ms. Riley was killed.

He had apparently encountered Ms. Riley, a student at another college in the city, on a wooded trail about a mile from her apartment. He blocked her as she tried to call 911 for help, prosecutors said, and then pulled up her clothes with the intent to rape her. He strangled her and hit her over the head multiple times with a rock, “seriously disfiguring” her, according to the indictment.

The indictment included charges of malice and felony murder, aggravated assault and battery, kidnapping, interfering with a call for emergency help, and tampering with evidence, for trying to hide a jacket and gloves from the police. Mr. Ibarra was also charged with a single “peeping Tom” count.

Mr. Ibarra has yet to enter a plea in connection with the case, but in March his lawyers requested a jury trial. He has been held without bail. Mr. Ibarra’s lawyers did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Wednesday.

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