Mollie Tibbetts' murder suspect pleads not guilty
Mollie Tibbetts' Alleged Murderer Pleaded Not Guilty Yesterday
The man accused of killing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts pleaded not guilty yesterday and waived his right to a speedy trial within 90 days, according to theDes Moines Register.The trial is set for April 2019.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was charged with first-degree murder after the body of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Tibbetts was found. She had been missing for a month before that, having disappeared during an evening run.
As Rivera recalled it to police, he saw Tibbetts running and got out of his car to run with her. She told him to leave her alone or she would call the police, and he did not. She tried to outrun him and then Rivera said he blacked out after that point and didn't remember anything.
onJan 18, 2019 at 2:46pm PST
He said he came to with Tibbetts' body in his trunk, and she had blood on the side of her head. He drove her into a cornfield and left her there, according to police documents.
Rick Rahn, a law enforcement official involved in the case, said in a press conference in August that they received video footage that was "critical" to them finding Tibbetts' body.
“Through that we were able to identify a vehicle that we believed belonged to Mr. Rivera,” he said. “From that we were able to track his patterns and the routes that he took. We were also able to find Mollie running on this video and we were able to determine that he was one of the last ones to have seen Mollie running.”
When the news broke that Rivera is an undocumented immigrant, Tibbetts' story turned into a debate on immigration policy in the United States. In an op-ed for theDes Moines Register, her father implored politicians to leave his daughter out of it."The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set.
Beyond that, he deserves no more attention. To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody.
Video: Farmhand pleads not guilty to first-degree murder in Mollie Tibbetts' death
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