IOWA CITY, Iowa — The lead investigator in the 2018 death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts expressed confidence Tuesday that the right man was convicted, rejecting defense claims that her abduction could be tied to two other local men.
Division of Criminal Investigation agent Trent Vileta said that had they known, detectives searching for Tibbetts in 2018 would have looked into another woman's claim that she'd been lured by a man from Tibbetts' small hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, weeks earlier and held in a nearby home for sex trafficking.
But the woman's complaint did not lead to criminal charges, and Vileta said it should be disregarded given the evidence tying local farmhand Cristhian Bahena Rivera to Tibbetts' abduction and stabbing death .
Vileta noted that Bahena Rivera partially confessed to stalking Tibbetts while she was out for a run, killing her and dumping her body in a cornfield, where he led investigators after a lengthy interrogation in August 2018. He said that Bahena Rivera's statements were "completely corroborated from start to finish."
"Cristhian Rivera murdered Mollie Tibbetts," Vileta testified at a hearing on Bahena Rivera's request for a new trial.
After hearing hours of testimony Tuesday, Judge Joel Yates said he would take the matter under advisement and issue a written ruling as soon as possible.
Bahena Rivera's lawyers sought to link Tibbetts' death to the other young woman's report of being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in summer 2018, and the recent disappearance of an 11-year-old boy from the same county. A 50-year-old suspected methamphetamine dealer has been investigated in both cases but hasn't been charged in either, and prosecutors say he has no tie to Tibbetts at all.
Yates told Bahena Rivera's lawyers at times that he was having trouble seeing any relevance to the case against their client.
Jurors found Bahena Rivera guilty of first-degree murder after a two-week trial in May. They rejected his testimony in which he claimed that two masked men kidnapped him at gunpoint from his trailer, forced him to drive to where Tibbetts was running on a rural road, killed her, put her body in his trunk and made him dispose of it.
Bahena Rivera, who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager, said he didn't tell investigators about the two men earlier because they had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and young daughter.
He was to be sentenced to life in prison earlier this month. But at the end of his trial, two new witnesses came forward independently of one another and told police that a local 21-year-old man, Gavin Jones, told them he had killed Tibbetts. Defense lawyers requested a new trial based on that and other newly discovered information, and Yates agreed to postpone sentencing while he considered their request.
One of those witnesses, inmate Arne Maki, testified Tuesday that Jones told him of his involvement last year when they were both held at the Keokuk County Jail. Jones said he and another man stabbed Tibbetts after she was held at a sex trafficking "trap house" where they were staying and framed Bahena Rivera for the death, Maki testified. An older man in charge of the house had ordered her killed, Maki said.
Maki said he came forward after seeing news clips about Bahena Rivera's testimony in which he said two other men were responsible for the crime. Maki, 46, said he was getting no benefit for his testimony, saying he wanted to "do the right thing."
"I just want to say one thing, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Tibbetts family," Maki said, after his testimony concluded.
Jones has denied any involvement and prosecutors worked Tuesday to clear him. Prosecutor Bart Klaver noted that Jones was in a rehabilitation facility in the summer of 2018 and then in an assisted living facility under state supervision. They also noted that Tibbetts was not cut up and wrapped in plastic, as Maki testified that Jones had told him.
Vileta said that neither Jones nor the 50-year-old man came up during the investigation. Under cross-examination, he said investigators hadn't tested their DNA to determine whether either is linked to two unidentified samples found along with Tibbetts' blood in the trunk of Bahena Rivera's vehicle.
Bahena Rivera's DNA was not a match, and investigators never recovered a murder weapon. At trial, a state crime lab analyst testified that it wouldn't be unusual for others' DNA to be in the trunk, which contained a football, a fishing pole and other items.
- Adnan Syed's Library Alibi Witness Testifies at His First Hearing for a New Trial
- Chessy Prout's Family Says They Won't 'Give Up' as Owen Labrie Seeks New Trial
- Adnan Syed's Attorney Officially Filed a Briefing for a New Trial
- Apple seeks yet another new trial against Samsung
- Judge denies motion for new trial in Oracle v. Google
- New trial for Apple v. Samsung possible as judge slashes damages
- Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht loses appeal for new trial
- Judge nixes $533 million iTunes damages, orders new trial
- Judge Sets New Trial Date for Bill Cosby
- 's Steven Avery Was Denied a New Trial
- Owen Labrie Files Motion Requesting New Trial
- iOS 8 grants new power to rival browsers, Web-based apps
- Renisha McBride's Shooter Wants a New Trial Judge, Blames Facebook
- Judge Says Bill Cosby's Pennsylvania Assault Case Can Move Forward
- Apple v. Samsung trial redux: What you need to know (FAQ)
- Jian Ghomeshi Won't Testify at His Trial, Defense Won't Present Any Evidence
- Federal judge throws out $625.5M verdict in VirnetX patent case against Apple
- Adnan Syed Is Getting a New Hearing
- Kesha Is Dropping Her Case Against Dr. Luke in California
- Judge steps down from Apple's Siri patent case
|Candywan case for S5 hot selling unique Brand New 2 in 1 S5 case (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|Grimm's 1001 Nights Oriental Building Set to Go - Wooden Blocks in Travel Carry Case (2x2 Size) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|she had not yet decided whether to use her power for good or evil ID Case by anne taintor (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|To Boot New York Men's Grant Slip-On Loafer (check at Amazon)||4.0|
|Mommy To Be New Mother In Purple Dress Christmas Ornament #W3974 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|How to decide whether to repair or replace appliances (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|From Felt to Fabric: New Techniques in Nuno Felting (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Prince Henry Sinclair: His Voyage to the New World in 1398 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Neville Chamberlain, Appeasement and the British Road to War (New Frontiers in History MUP) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|New American Standard Bible New Testament in a Metal Case (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ (New Studies in Biblical Theology, 8) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Small Boat to Freedom: A Journey of Conscience to a New Life in America (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Living With Glocks: The Complete Guide to the New Standard in Combat Handguns (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Simple Small Business Marketing: 77 Free and Low Cost Ways Proven To Attract New customers in any economic climate (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide: 10 Steps to a New Life in the Work World (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Hooghly Girl: From My Childhood in Jail in India to My New Life in America (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Human-Centered Design Toolkit: An Open-Source Toolkit To Inspire New Solutions in the Developing World (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|To Understand New Museology in the XXI Century (Sociomuseology) (Volume 3) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Greek-American Relations from Monroe to Truman (New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Called to Community: New Directions in Unitarian Universalist Ministry (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|31 Days To A New You In Christ (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Soviet Economic Development from Lenin to Khrushchev (New Studies in Economic and Social History) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Alaska Challenge a Honeymoon Journey Through the Northern Wilderness That Led to a New Life in a New Land (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Because there is Jesus: A call to be new-made in Christ : homilies and conferences (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Homeless Narratives & Pretreatment Pathways: From Words to Housing (New Horizons in Therapy) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|A Practical Guide to Cluster Randomised Trials in Health Services Research (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Developing Disciples of Victory: A guide to developing new members in the local church (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Practicing Cognitive Therapy: A Guide to Interventions (New Directions in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|From the Holocaust to a New Dawn in English (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Speaking Effective English!: Your Guide to Acquiring New Confidence In Personal and Professional Communication (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Bible Without Theology: The Theological Tradition and Alternatives to It (New voices in biblical studies) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|No Backward Step: A Guide to Grant's Campaign in Virginia (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Living in France: A Practical Guide to Your New Life in France (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Israel at High Noon: From Stalin's Failed Satellite to the New Crisis in the Middle East (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Philosophy of H. P. Lovecraft: The Route to Horror (New Studies in Aesthetics) (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Communication Skills That Heal: A Practical Approach to a New Professionalism in Medicine (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Not Even My Name: From a Death March in Turkey to a New Home in America, a Young Girl's True Story of Genocide and Survival (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Prince Henry St Clair and the Voyage to the New World in 1398 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Montauk Travel Guide (Unanchor) - A Local's Guide to Montauk, New York in 2 Days - From the Ocean to the Hills (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|How to Write New Music in 30 Minutes: Sia Furler Method (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Seven Days of Redemption: A Week Long Journey to the New You in Christ (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|6 Steps To Your New Life In God: Practical steps to living a Godly life full of peace, joy and favor! (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|How to Use New Thought in Home Life (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Are You Ready (To Rock) ? New Jamboree In The Hills Song 2011 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (In The Style Of Harry Connick, Jr.) [Performance Track With Demonstration Vocals] (check at Amazon)||0.0|
Judge to decide whether to grant new trial in Mollie Tibbetts case have 1821 words, post on www.nbcnews.com at July 28, 2021. This is cached page on USA Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.