Mollie Tibbetts Murder Trial May Be Delayed for Fourth Time to 2021

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 case against an illegal alien accused of murdering 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts in 2018 may get a fourth delay due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

In August 2018, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 25-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, was charged with Mollie Tibbetts’ murder after police said he admitted to confronting and chasing down the young woman.

Following a nationwide search, Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, Iowa. The illegal alien lived in a region of Iowa that was surrounded by sanctuary cities, as Breitbart News noted. He worked on a dairy farm using a stolen ID and Social Security card after allegedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as a child.

This month, both the prosecution and Bahena Rivera’s defense attorneys filed a motion requesting that the murder trial be moved to January 26, 2021, citing issues with the coronavirus crisis:

Because of the expected glut of cases in Woodbury County with speedy deadlines and the numerous hurdles that will be created by the COVID-19 restrictions on distancing that will be presented by having nearly three times the number of regular jurors available for jury selection, the State and the Defense believe that a trial of this nature is better conducted at a later time. Both parties also share a legitimate apprehension as to how a trial can effectively be conducted with interpreters if parties, witnesses or the Judge are required to wear masks that obscure their face below the eyes while speaking. Furthermore, the defendant has waived both his 90 and 1-year speedy trial rights which puts him as a secondary priority for a trial date when jury trials resume in September.  [Emphasis added]

If approved by a judge, this will be the fourth time that the murder trial has been moved to a later date.

In June 2019, Bahena Rivera successfully got the trial moved to November 2019 after he pushed to get his alleged murder confession thrown out of evidence. Then, in October 2019, Bahena Rivera again successfully had the trial moved to February 2020, but that date was delayed in January due to a motion filed by the defense.

Bahena Rivera’s defense has claimed that the illegal alien’s “constitutional rights” were violated when he allegedly confessed to Tibbetts’ murder to police and spoke without understanding his Miranda Rights due to his “very limited Mexican education.”

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

Bahena Rivera, according to police, said Tibbetts was jogging when he saw her. 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 “blacked out” after this.

Police believe Bahena Rivera stabbed Tibbetts to death and drove to a cornfield, where prosecutors say he placed corn stalks over her to hide her body. The illegal alien has been held on a $5 million bond.

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


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