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CANTON | Brunn pleads guilty to murder of Jorelys Rivera | News

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CANTON | Brunn pleads guilty to murder of Jorelys Rivera
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CANTON, Ga. - Ryan Brunn, the apartment maintenance worker charged with murdering seven-year-old Jorelys Rivera, pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him Tuesday afternoon.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His attorney confirmed Wednesday that Brunn has moved to Jackson State Prison in Butts County to serve his sentence.

Brunn has 30 days to change his mind about the guilty plea, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead. After those 30 days, the case will be closed by the GBI.

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During the court hearing, Brunn provided his own graphic account of the murder of Rivera.

Brunn said he found one of Jorelys' roller skates.  He took a picture of the skate with his cell phone and then hid it in a vacant apartment.  "I was going to lure her in for sex," Brunn told the court.

Brunn said he found Jorelys, showed her the picture of the roller skate and told her that he would return it to her, if she came to the apartment with him.

Jorelys entered the vacant apartment and was followed by Brunn.  He told her to lie down on a mattress that had been left by a previous tenant, Brunn recounted.

At some point during the incident, Jorelys told Brunn that she had to use the bathroom.  Brunn said that he followed her into the bathroom, zip-tied her hands and secured a rag in her mouth with duct tape so she couldn't scream.

"I was just so scared," Brunn said.  "I didn't want her to go to her mom and dad and tell on me." He said that he cut Jorelys throat while she was bound in the vacant apartment's bathroom.

Brunn recounted that he then left the apartment to get a trash bag to dispose of Jorelys' body.  When he returned, he found the seven-year-old, still alive.  He wrapped her body in the trash bag and beat her with her roller skate until she was unconscious.

Brunn said he loaded her body into his maintenance golf cart, drove her to the trash compactor where she would later be found, and disposed of her body.

Despite pleading guilty to all of the charges against him, including charges of molestation, Brunn told the court that he "didn't touch her at all."

Brunn went on to recount the search for Jorelys Rivera in the following days.  "I helped them look for that child, the idiot that I am," he said.

During a news conference following the hearing, law enforcement investigators detailed the mountain of evidence that they had against Brunn, including her DNA on his belongings.  Investigators also found his fingerprints all over the crime scene.

Brunn was indicted last week. He was charged with murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, false imprisonment, abandonment of a dead body, making a false statement and sexual exploitation of children. 

He was a newly hired maintenance man at the River Ridge apartment complex in Canton where Rivera disappeared the night of December 2, 2010.

Law enforcement officials, friends and ordinary citizens searched for days in and around the complex looking for Rivera.

Investigators later found Rivera's body in a large automated trash compactor on the property.

The indictment details some specifics in the case, saying Brunn used both a "hammer-like object" and a knife to beat, stab and kill Rivera.

In count 5, the indictment said the cruelty included binding Rivera "...with plastic ties and by placing a rag into [her] mouth...and by placing duct tape over [her] mouth."

According to the indictment Brunn lied when asked by investigators whether he had been to the dumpster the night of Rivera's disappearance.

Brunn is charged with sexual exploitation of children because investigators say they found items in his possession that depicted sexually explicit conduct involving a female child under 18.

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