Nevada man gets life for teen girl murder

Image copyright Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Image caption Crip gang member Rosario Ernesto Ybarra-Reyes was sentenced to life in prison for the murder A gang member has been sentenced to life in prison in…

Nevada man gets life for teen girl murder

Image copyright Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Image caption Crip gang member Rosario Ernesto Ybarra-Reyes was sentenced to life in prison for the murder

A gang member has been sentenced to life in prison in Las Vegas for murdering a 16-year-old girl, who police believe was wrongly identified as a rival Crip.

Rosario Ernesto Ybarra-Reyes was 18 when he cut out DNA evidence from the girl’s blood.

He had been accused of killing Laura Kipp, whose body was found wrapped in plastic in a Las Vegas swimming pool in 1995.

Mrs Kipp had befriended Ybarra-Reyes after she moved to the city.

Prosecutor Todd Wood said Ybarra-Reyes approached Laura’s family and told them she had been sexually assaulted, which was a lie.

Laura Kipp was reported missing in February 1995. Her body was discovered the next day, wrapped in plastic in a swimming pool.

DNA tests proved that a cut on Ybarra-Reyes’ shirt matched Laura’s clothing. He later told police he had cut the shirt with a razor.

But the prosecutor said it did not match Laura’s DNA.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Las Vegas is a different place now. Twenty years ago, you were walking the streets, and Laura Kipp was just one of hundreds of Las Vegas victims, but we may never find her killer,” he said.

“We hope to bring closure to Laura’s family and have this criminal punished for what he did.”

Ybarra-Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as part of a plea deal. He originally faced life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Laura Kipp was stabbed 10 times, raped and mutilated

Although Laura’s remains were not found for more than a year, detectives turned to Ybarra-Reyes, an alleged Crip, who started confessing to an unusual murder.

The victim’s blood was on his clothes and in his pockets.

Ybarra-Reyes first denied knowing the victim, but eventually admitted the killing and offered a motive.

“I went to meet her at the White Wolf brothel. I convinced her to go with me,” he said, according to his statement to police.

In a jailhouse phone call, Ybarra-Reyes said he thought “the lights would be better outside”.

Laura was stabbed 10 times and her body was mutilated. Police later found her throat had been cut, there were two large burns on her body and her clothing was partially shredded.

Ybarra-Reyes could not remember if he drank the victim’s blood and did not remember leaving the brothel, police said.

He was soon implicated in a further killing, eight days after Laura’s murder.

More than 300 witnesses were expected to testify during Ybarra-Reyes’ trial.

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