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Athens DA bringing in special prosecutor for UGA murder case

District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez

By Joe Johnson

District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez has announced that a special prosecutor has been assigned to the case of an illegal Immigrant who is accused of murdering a student on the University of Georgia campus.

Gonzalez made the announcement after the case became a lightning rod for critics of the nation's immigration policies and the ability of the Western Judicial Circuit's district attorney to prosecute the case was widely questioned.

According to Gonzalez, Sheila Ross from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council (PAC) will be handling the case of Jose Ibarra, charged with the murder of Laken Riley.

Sheila Ross

She released the following statement:

“I want to express my gratitude to my colleagues from across Georgia who have supported our circuit during this tragic event at our flagship institution. We will not allow this or any other case to be used for political gain. Our top priority is the safety of every citizen, and we are fully committed to ensuring that justice is served for the loss of every life. Sheila Ross from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council (PAC) will return to the Western District. We welcome her back as a knowledgeable and well-respected trial attorney with the expertise ready to bring justice on behalf of Laken Riley. In preparation, this office and our law enforcement partners have maintained constant communication throughout the investigation. We will provide further updates once the case is turned over to our office. From day one, our office has worked diligently to keep this community safe from anyone who seeks to do it harm. This includes those who believe that violence is the answer. We will ensure that such individuals are brought to justice. Our hearts and our work are with the victim’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will provide additional comments once more information becomes available.”

Laken Riley

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student enrolled at Augusta University, was found dead on the University of Georgia's campus Thursday. UGA Police said they located her body in a campus recreational area, behind Lake Harrick. She had go

Jose Ibarra

Police said that Riley had died from blunt force trauma to her head.

Although police have not released a possible motive, law enforcement sources said that Riley was killed when being sexually assaulted.

Ibarra currently is in the Athens-Clarke County jail, where he is being held without bond. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have also filed a detainer on Ibarra, a who is charged with entering the U.S. unlawfully.


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5 Comments


"We will not allow this or any other case to be used for political gain." Are you referring to the political controversy of letting in over 10 million illegals we know nothing about in the US during the last three years? Is there anything to gain politically by examining this case, for example that letting these people in may not be such a good idea, or should we just look at this case blindly and pretend letting these people in the US is okay?

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Gonzalez finally made 1 right decision in 3 years. She has no clues about how to prosecute anyone.

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Replying to

Kind of. The only right decision she could possibly make is to resign IMMEDIATELY!!!

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How about bringing in a special DA?

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Well it's good to know this unqualified DA recognizes she totally unfit to handle this case.

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