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DA Deborah Gonzalez Brings in Special Prosecutor in Laken Riley Death

District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez

District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez is bringing in a special prosecutor to handle the case against the suspect accused of killing Laken Riley. In a release, Gonzalez stated that Shelia Ross from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, will return to the Western District for the prosecution of Jose Antonio Ibarra, the man arrested for the murder of Riley. Gonzalez said her office will not allow this or any other case to be used for political gain.

Authorities say Ibarra was in the country illegally. He is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, hindering a 911 call and concealing a death.

Gonzalez said her office and law enforcement partners have maintained constant communication throughout the investigation.
 
The DA will provide further updates once the case is turned over to the office.

Full Statement:

For Immediate Release: DA Gonzalez Brings in Top Trial Attorney for Task Force in Preparation of New Felony Case

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.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!