Former Marine Agrees to Plea Deal for Manslaughter


SAN ANGELO— Benjamin Ibarra, 23, of San Angelo, a former Marine, has reached an agreement to accept a plea deal for the shooting death of Samantha Ibarra in November last year.

Ibarra faced charges of manslaughter following an incident where he discharged an assault-style rifle, resulting in the death of his sister.

According to court documents, on November 20, 2023, San Angelo law enforcement responded to a report of a shooting in the 5900 block of Willeke Drive. Upon arrival, officers found Samantha Ibarra suffering from a gunshot wound. Despite being rushed to Shannon Medical Center, she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Benjamin Ibarra was detained at the scene.

Witnesses at the scene reported that Ibarra and another individual were handling an AR-15 rifle equipped with a laser light in a bedroom. Ibarra, purportedly conducting a simulated clearing of the residence, unintentionally discharged the rifle, striking the victim.

It was noted that the rifle lacked a magazine, and the discharged round was unaccounted for in the chamber. Following the shooting, witnesses initiated life-saving measures and contacted emergency services. One witness claimed Ibarra did not intend to harm the victim.

Another individual present during the incident testified to hearing the weapon discharge and observing both Ibarra and another individual with the victim. The witness also reported finding the firearm on the floor, unaware of its ownership. Ibarra, visibly distraught, allegedly admitted to shooting the victim.

In his statement, Ibarra asserted that he had been handed the rifle under the assumption it was unloaded. He began the simulated clearing of the house and, unable to see the victim, discharged the weapon, believing it to be empty. He continued administering aid until emergency responders arrived.

Ibarra acknowledged his familiarity with firearms due to his military background and mentioned that earlier that day, he, the victim, and another witness had visited a gun range where safety protocols were reiterated by range personnel.

Following the incident, a search warrant was executed, leading to the discovery of the rifle in the living room without a magazine. A spent rifle casing was found in the kitchen.

While the plea deal awaits formal approval by the judge, Ibarra has agreed to an eight-year deferred adjudication for Manslaughter.

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