Illegal Alien Accused of Murdering Mollie Tibbetts Granted $3.2K in Taxpayer Money for Expert Witness

Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/AP, Facebook

The illegal alien accused of murdering 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts in Brooklyn, Iowa, has been granted $3,200 in state taxpayer funds for an expert witness in the upcoming murder trial.

In August 2018, Cristhian Bahena-Rivera, an illegal alien from Mexico, was charged with Tibbetts’ murder after police said he admitted to confronting and chasing down the young woman. Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County after a statewide search for her. The illegal alien lived in a region of Iowa that was surrounded by sanctuary cities, as Breitbart News noted, and worked on a dairy farm using a stolen ID and Social Security card after allegedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as a child.

Bahena-Rivera has been granted $3,200 in state taxpayer money by 8th Judicial District Judge Joel Yates this week that will pay for an expert witness to help the illegal alien fight the murder charge, according to the Gazette.

The illegal alien, Yates said in his decision, qualifies for taxpayer-funded stipends to fight the murder charge, the Gazette reported, and the accused killer’s defense team is expected to ask for more taxpayer money before the trial:

Lawyers for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, who is charged with first-degree murder, said the stipend was needed to hire a forensic expert with Criminal Case Consultants in Buffalo, N.Y. The expert can provide insight on interrogation techniques and analytical investigative methods given the “length, context, language barriers and other factors involved in the police interrogation” of Rivera, Chase Frese, Rivera’s lawyer, said in the motion. [Emphasis added]

The stipend is required for the expert to begin looking into these issues but it doesn’t cover costs of testimony at trial or travel expenses, Frese, in motion, said. The defense will make separate requests for those funds if necessary. [Emphasis added]

Eighth Judicial District Judge Joel Yates approved the stipend Tuesday, saying a financial affidavit filed with the court shows Rivera is indigent and qualifies for public funds, which will be paid by the state. If additional funds are needed, the defense will have to obtain court approval, he added. [Emphasis added]

This is the latest request by Bahena-Rivera’s defense team for public funds and accommodations for the illegal alien in the murder trial. This month, Bahena-Rivera asked that his murder confession be thrown out as evidence, claiming he was not read his Miranda rights by police at the time.

In its farthest reaching request, the illegal alien’s defense team said the jury selection pool should be moved out of Poweshiek County — where the alleged murder occurred — because the area is home to too many white Americans, Breitbart News reported. Instead, Bahena-Rivera wants the jury selection moved to a neighboring county with more Hispanic Americans, claiming that a majority-white county is unfair.

Before the jury selection request, the illegal alien’s attorneys said Bahena-Rivera had a “constitutional right” to receive $5,000 in state taxpayer money to hire an independent investigative team to fight the murder charge.

According to prosecutors, Bahena-Rivera was the last person who saw Tibbetts jogging on the evening of July 18, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa, security camera footage reveals. That is the night Tibbetts went missing.

The illegal alien told police that Tibbetts was jogging when he saw her, according to prosecutors. That is when he said he approached Tibbetts and started talking to her. After Tibbetts told Bahena-Rivera that she would call the police if he did not stop following her, the illegal alien allegedly chased her and says he “blacked out” after this.

Police believe Bahena-Rivera stabbed Tibbetts to death, then drove to a cornfield where prosecutors say Bahena-Rivera placed cornstalks over her to hide her body. The illegal alien has been held on a $5 million bond, and the murder trial is set for September.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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