Court denies evidence review in death of Iowa student

Court denies evidence review in death of Iowa student


DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court will not review evidence in the case of a man charged with killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts in 2018, an order filed Tuesday said.

The lawyers for Cristhian Bahena Rivera argued that much of the evidence prosecutors plan to use at trial should be suppressed because his cooperation was coerced and he wasn't initially read his legal rights.

A district court judge last month concluded that Rivera's statements were voluntary and key evidence is admissible but Rivera's lawyers appealed, leading to a delay in Rivera's first-degree murder trial. The trial had been scheduled to begin this week.

Rivera's lawyers are reviewing Rivera's legal options.

"We are disappointed that Justice (Edward) Mansfield declined this invitation to review these important issues at this time," defense attorney Chad Frese said,

Attorney General spokesman Lynn Hicks said the state is ready to prosecute as soon as the judge can reschedule the trial.

Investigators say Rivera, 25, stalked Tibbetts while she was out for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, and stabbed her to death.

Tibbetts, 20, disappeared on July 18, 2018. After a massive police and volunteer effort to find her, authorities say cristRivera led them to her body.


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