Originally created 10/25/00

Slaying suspect indicted



A Richmond County grand jury indicted Reinaldo J. Rivera on Tuesday not only in the slaying of Sgt. Marni Glista and the attack on Chrisilee Barton but also in the fatal attack on Tabatha Bosdell.

Miss Bosdell's remains were found in Columbia County, but the teen-ager was assaulted in Augusta, according to Tuesday's indictment.

The appropriate venue for a murder charge is "where the body is found," District Attorney Danny Craig said at a news conference. The Richmond County indictment charges him with only rape, aggravated sodomy and aggravated assault.

He declined to say when he might seek a Columbia County murder indictment in the Bosdell case. The next regular grand jury will meet Tuesday.

Alerted by Richmond County Sheriff's Department detectives the day after Mr. Rivera's arrest, Columbia County officers found Miss Bosdell's remains in the Pumpkin Center area off Interstate 20 and Wrightsboro Road on Oct. 14. But the 18-year-old woman had been raped and sodomized, and strangled by hand and by a shirt June 29 in Augusta, according to Tuesday's indictment.

Sheriff's Sgt. Wayne Bunton said Tuesday that Miss Bosdell's attack took place near the mill on Goodrich Street, just off Broad Street in downtown Augusta.

Tuesday's indictment also accuses Mr. Rivera, 37, of murder, rape and two counts of aggravated sodomy in the Sept. 4 attack of Fort Gordon Sgt. Glista, 21, who was found unconscious and barely breathing inside her home the next day. She died Sept. 9 at Doctors Hospital. Sgt. Glista was strangled, according to the indictment.

The indictment further accuses Mr. Rivera of attacking 18-year-old Miss Barton. Although The Augusta Chronicle has a policy of not identifying survivors of sexual assaults, Miss Barton has spoken publicly about the Oct. 10 assault in her south Augusta home.

The indictment charges Mr. Rivera not only with rape and aggravated sodomy of Miss Barton but also with three separate counts of aggravated assault, burglary and use of a knife during the commission of a crime.

The aggravated assaults occurred, according to the indictment, when Mr. Rivera placed a knife to Miss Barton's throat, choked her with his hands and a clothlike item, and then stabbed her with a second knife.

Miss Barton has told local media that she met Mr. Rivera in the parking lot of a Belvedere Huddle House and, against her better judgment, led him to her home, where he was to pay her to pose for photographs.

According to warrant applications filed last week in the case of Sgt. Glista, Mr. Rivera is accused of using the same ploy to get inside her home.

In addition to the charges in Richmond and Columbia counties, Aiken officers have charged Mr. Rivera with the sexual assaults and killings of Tiffaney Wilson and Melissa Dingess, both 17.

Mrs. Wilson's body was found Dec. 28 off Bettis Academy Road in Aiken County. She was last seen Dec. 4 in the Winn-Dixie parking lot off U.S. Highway 25 in North Augusta, where she was taking her baby to have a Christmas photograph taken. The infant was later found unharmed at the Georgia Welcome Center on I-20.

Mrs. Dingess' remains were also found in Aiken County, but not until the day of Mr. Rivera's Oct. 13 arrest. She was last seen by family and friends July 17, 1999, outside the Graniteville Cafe near her home.

Sgt. Bunton said Tuesday his department is still getting calls from young women who say they have had encounters with Mr. Rivera. He estimated 30 such reports so far, none of which has been classified as false.

Mr. Craig said Tuesday he has made a decision regarding seeking the death penalty against Mr. Rivera if he is convicted of murder, but he declined to publicly announce his decision.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226.