INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A federal judge in Indianapolis will not order a new trial for a northern Indiana man convicted of murdering his girlfriend more than 20 years after her death.
Judge Jane Magnus Stinson denied the request from Jason Tibbs in a ruling issued Thursday.
A jury convicted Tibbs in 2014 for the 1993 murder of Rayna Rison in LaPorte, Indiana.
Rison, who was 16, disappeared March 26, 1993 after working a shift at an animal hospital.
Her body was found 10 days later face down in a pond. She had been strangled.
Her case garnered national attention, including being featured on “America’s Most Wanted.”
Prosecutors initially charged Rison’s brother-in-law, Ray McCarty, with her murder. A newly elected prosecutor dropped the charge against McCarty the following year after determining there was insufficient evidence to connect him to Rison’s death.
Tibbs was arrested in 2013, five years after investigators received a tip from a prison inmate.
The inmate told authorities he saw Tibbs and another teen with Rison’s body in the trunk of a car right after she went missing.
Investigators said the two had previously dated, and that Tibbs went to the animal hospital to “work things out.”
A witness later told investigators Tibbs said, “If I can’t have her, nobody can.”
Judge Stinson rejected Tibbs’ argument that his lawyers failed to properly present to the jury transcripts of the inmate’s police interview, as well as an FBI fiber analysis of evidence.
Judge Stinson found that Tibbs did not prove that any failures by his attorneys would have changed the jury’s verdict.
Tibbs is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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