AP Slammed For Coverage Of Nursing Student Murder After Illegal Immigrant Suspect Arrested
Jordi Salas via Getty Images

The Associated Press is being criticized for its coverage of the murder of Georgia college student Laken Riley, with many social media users accusing the outlet of failing to report key details of the case that didn’t fit the desired narrative.

Riley, 22, was a nursing student at Augusta University. She was killed last week while out running on the University of Georgia trails. Venezuelan native Jose Antonia Ibarra was taken into custody shortly after and was already known to law enforcement after being arrested for other crimes.

It was suspected that Ibarra entered the United States unlawfully after the local police chief on Friday said he “is not a U.S. citizen.” On Friday night, NewsNation cited “multiple DHS sources” that said Ibarra is in the United States illegally, a fact which was later confirmed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday. An AP story published on Saturday didn’t mention his citizenship status, referring to him only as an “Athens resident.” 

The title of the article also deflected the central details of the crime. It was published under the header, “The killing of a nursing student out for a run highlights the fears of solo female athletes.”

Social media users stated their criticism of alleged media bias as tensions about U.S. border security and citizen safety continue to be trending topics nationwide.

“The corporate media will blame a woman for exercising alone before blaming an illegal alien for killing her,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw wrote in reply to the article link on X. 

“Entire article is a disgrace,” another person agreed.

“Really? You want to try that again… maybe add something about illegal immigrants being released from sanctuary cities after they’ve been arrested only to go to a different state where they can commit more crime?” a third person echoed.

A popular tweet from conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham summed up the situation from her perspective. 

“Hi, female athlete here,” she wrote. “I ran this exact trail every single week of my college career. I guess I could have been snuffed out before I graduated, had a career, family, and the professionals at the AP would lie about the suspect bc it fits a preferred narrative.”

She continued, “Ibarra is not merely an ‘Athens resident,’ and Laken Riley and every other student was put in danger by not enforcing laws and allowing a man arrested 3x after crossing the border to hang out and work on campus. He had to escalate to alleged murder to be held and/or risk deportation. Good policies. Good work.”


Ibarra, 26, is being held on charges that include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping and hindering a 911 call, per CBS News. He was previously arrested for entering the country illegally in 2022. Ibarra was also charged with “acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17” and has a motor vehicle license violation, according to the ICE statement.

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