An illegal alien has been found guilty of murdering 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts by a jury on Friday.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an illegal alien from Mexico, was arrested in August 2018 — about a month after Tibbetts first went missing on the evening of July 18, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa — and charged with first-degree murder.
Bahena Rivera led investigators to Tibbetts’ body and he said he spotted her jogging, ran up to her, and became angry because she threatened to call the police. Rivera said he then blacked out and took her body from his car trunk and placed her in a cornfield, placing corn stalks over her.
Bahena Rivera first crossed the United States-Mexico border at 17-years-old and headed to Iowa where he has relatives. He worked at the Yarabee Farms dairy farm under the name “John Budd” from a stolen Social Security number.
Twelve jurors, including three Hispanic Americans and nine white Americans from 19 to 71-years-old, found Bahena Rivera guilty of first-degree murder following a nearly two-week trial and less than eight hours of deliberation.
Prosecutors said the illegal alien had a sexual motive and murdered Tibbetts, while the defense sought to pit the murder on Tibbetts’ then-boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and other accomplices.
Over the course of the trial, Bahena Rivera took the witness stand and claimed he was kidnapped by two masked men who killed Tibbetts before he dumped her body in the cornfield and drove off, never hearing from the men again.
The defense, in their closing arguments, sought to pin Tibbetts’ murder on her boyfriend Dalton Jack, claiming investigators did not thoroughly investigate other suspects once Bahena Rivera confessed to the murder. The defense told the jury that the confession, though, was coerced and false because Bahena Rivera was scared the masked men would hurt his family and he was tired.
During the trial, the medical examiner who reviewed Tibbetts’ body told the jury that she was stabbed potentially up to 12 times by her killer. Tibbetts, the medical examiner said, suffered stab wounds to her head, right hand, neck, and torso.
Last week, the jury saw photos of the cornfield where Bahena Rivera dumped Tibbetts’ body. The jury also viewed photos of Tibbetts’ body covered in corn stalks. Likewise, the jury saw photos of Bahena Rivera’s car trunk where four locations of human blood, identified as Tibbetts’, were found.
In detailed testimony by the investigator to whom Bahena Rivera confessed murdering Tibbetts, the jury was relayed portions of the transcripts. Bahena Rivera said he saw Tibbetts jogging, chased her down, blacked out, then remembered driving with her body in the trunk of his car before dumping her in a cornfield.
Bahena Rivera is expected to be sentenced on July 15.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.