Suspect in Laken Riley murder pleads not guilty at arraignment

Posted at 11:33 AM, May 31, 2024

ATHENS, Ga. (Court TV) — The man accused of murdering nursing student Laken Riley entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment Friday.

Jose Ibarra, 26, was arrested Feb. 23 for the murder of 22-year-old Riley, who was killed while jogging on the University of Georgia campus.

jose ibarra appears in court

Jose Ibarra, accused in the murder of Laken Riley, appears at his arraignment Friday, May 31, 2024. (Court TV)

An indictment charges Ibarra with 10 charges: malice murder, three counts of felony murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated assault with intent to rape, aggravated battery, obstruction or hindering a person making emergency telephone call, tampering with evidence and peeping tom.

Riley’s family members were in the courtroom Friday. As Ibarra was led in, her mother began to cry, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ibarra is accused of attempting to rape Riley, “asphyxiating her” and “seriously disfiguring her head by striking her head multiple times with a rock.” A tampering with evidence charge is for allegations he disposed of his jacket and gloves to conceal the crime.

Ibarra is also accused of spying on a woman at an apartment at the UGA Village Housing complex the day Riley was killed.

The judge said he expects a status conference to take place in early August.