NBC, CBS Ignore Georgia Student’s Alleged Murderer Is An Illegal Immigrant

Political News

The big three networks of ABC, NBC, and CBS had three underwhelming, yet widely varying approaches to the news that a released illegal immigrant has been charged with the murder of a Georgia college student on the respective editions of Good Morning America, Today and CBS Saturday Mornings. ABC mentioned the illegal immigrant part, but not the released part. NBC mentioned the murder but omitted the illegal immigrant angle, and CBS ignored the story altogether.

On Friday’s Evening News, CBS did manage to do a report on the subject with Mark Strassman reporting that “Late this afternoon, police announced they had a murder suspect in custody but gave no other details. Friday felt different here, edgy for many. All day police scoured this apartment complex, and Friday classes were canceled.”

However, not only was no update given in the morning, but the story itself was ignored.

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Over at NBC and Today, host Peter Alexander teed up a report by the unrelated Blayne Alexander by noting, “There is some breaking news from overnight in Georgia. The 26-year-old man arrested in connection with the death of the college student who was killed on a run was booked into the Clark County Jail there. The suspect, a local resident but not a U.S. citizen. Authorities say it appears this was a crime of opportunity.”

The latter Alexander’s report included a clip of University of Georgia police chief Jefferey Clark declaring that “Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26 years of age, has been charged with the following: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery,” but no other information about Ibarra was given.

On GMA, ABC’s Morgan Norwood concluded her report by noting that “this morning we know Ibarra is being held without bond. Police say he’s undocumented and believe he came to this country from Venezuela.” 

Certainly, a good portion of the reports were appropriately spent honoring the victim, who was a nursing student on the dean’s list, but is one sentence mentioning that Ibarra is an illegal immigrant who crossed the border in El Paso and released because of a lack of detention space too much to ask for?

Here are transcripts for the February 23 and 24 shows:

CBS Evening News

2/23/2024

6:37 PM ET

MARK STRASSMAN: Late this afternoon, police announced they had a murder suspect in custody, but gave no other details. Friday felt different here, edgy for many. All day police scoured this apartment complex, and Friday classes were canceled. 

***

NBC Today

2/24/2024

8:13 AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER: There is some breaking news from overnight in Georgia. The 26-year-old man arrested in connection with the death of the college student who was killed on a run was booked into the Clark County Jail there. The suspect, a local resident, but not a U.S. citizen. Authorities say it appears this was a crime of opportunity. NBC’s Blayne Alexander has the very latest. 

BLAYNE ALEXANDER: After a terrifying 24 hours in the bustling college town of Athens, Georgia, police have announced a suspect is in custody in what university officials say is the murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley

JEFFERY CLARK [UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA POLICE CHIEF]: Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26 years of age ,has been charged with the following: malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery. 

BLAYNE ALEXANDER: Police say a friend of Riley’s called 911 Thursday afternoon, saying Riley went for a morning run and never came back. Officers searched the area and within minutes found her body in an area around Lake Herrick near the school’s intramural fields.

CLARK: He did not know her at all. I think this was a crime of opportunity. 

BLAYNE ALEXANDER: Here in Athens, the homicide has rocked two different campuses. Riley was a junior at Augusta University’s college of nursing where she was on the dean’s list. 

She had recently transferred from the University of Georgia, a student there until last spring, she remained active with her sorority. Friday, classes on both campuses were cancelled.

MILKA RAMIREZ: I mean, everybody thinks that they’re safe, but in reality, you never know. 

BLAYNE ALEXANDER: UGA senior Milka Ramirez lives right by the fields where Riley was found. 

RAMIREZ: I mean, that’s very, kind of, concerning and scary just because that did happen very close by. 

BLAYNE ALEXANDER: And police say this is the first homicide on UGA’s campus in at least 20 years. Classes are set to resume on Monday. Peter and Laura. 

***

ABC Good Morning America

2/24/2024

8:11 AM ET

MORGAN NORWOOD: The community, though relieved by the arrest of a suspect, now faced with grief. The 22-year-old nursing student had just transferred from UGA to Augusta University’s College of Nursing program in Athens last spring. The school saying she was a dean’s list student adding, “this sudden loss of one of our students is truly heartbreaking.”

Indeed, it is and this morning we know Ibarra is being held without bond. Police say he’s undocumented and believe he came to this country from Venezuela. 

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