Home Local News PROSECUTION BEGINS PRESENTING CASE AGAINST CRISTHIAN RIVERA

PROSECUTION BEGINS PRESENTING CASE AGAINST CRISTHIAN RIVERA

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Cristhian Bahena Rivera in the courtroom at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Rivera is charged with first-degree in the death of Mollie Tibbetts. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

THE MURDER TRIAL OF 26-YEAR-OLD CRISTHIAN RIVERA, THE FARM WORKER ACCUSED IN THE 2018 STABBING DEATH OF 20-YEAR-OLD MOLLIE TIBBETTS IS UNDERWAY IN DAVENPORT, IOWA.

THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA STUDENT VANISHED THAT JULY WHILE JOGGING IN HER HOMETOWN OF BROOKLYN, IOWA.

IN OPENING STATEMENTS THIS (WEDNESDAY) MORNING, POWESHIEK COUNTY ATTORNEY BART KLAVER TOLD HOW WEEKS OF SEARCHING TURNED UP NOTHING AND INVESTIGATORS EVENTUALLY SPOTTED TIBBETTS RUNNING ON SECURITY CAMERA FOOTAGE.

MOLLY1 OC………. “WAS UNIQUE” :16

AUTHORITIES DETERMINED THE MALIBU BELONGED TO RIVERA, FOUND HIM AND QUESTIONED HIM ABOUT TIBBETTS.

MOLLY2 OC………”SECOND LOOK” :13

KLAVER SAYS RIVERA INITIALLY HAD DENIED KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT TIBBETTS’ DISAPPEARANCE, BUT OPENED UP ONCE HE WAS SHOWN PHOTOS OF HIS VEHICLE FROM THE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO.

MOLLY3 OC……. “FIGHTING WITH HER” :13

KLAVER SAYS RIVERA CLAIMS HE DOESN’T REMEMBER ANYTHING MORE ABOUT THE CONFRONTATION AND THE NEXT THING HE RECALLS IS DRIVING IN HIS CAR.

HE SAID HE FOUND MOLLIE’S EARBUDS IN THE CAR, WHICH TRIGGERED HIS MEMORY.

MOLLY4 OC………….”THEN LEAVING” :18

KLAVER SAYS RIVERA LED DEPUTIES TO TIBBETTS’ BODY IN THE FIELD. THE AUTOPSY FOUND TIBBETTS HAD BEEN STABBED SEVEN TO 12 TIMES IN MULTIPLE PARTS OF HER BODY AND HEAD, AND AUTHORITIES SAY HER BLOOD WAS FOUND IN RIVERA’S CAR.

KLAVER TOLD THE JURY THERE’S JUST ONE POSSIBLE VERDICT THEY CAN REACH.

MOLLY5 OC…….FIRST DEGREE” :18

RIVERA’S DEFENSE ATTORNEYS DECLINED TO MAKE AN OPENING STATEMENT.

ONE OF THE FIRST WITNESSES PROSECUTORS CALLED TO THE STAND WAS TIBBETTS’ BOYFRIEND, DALTON JACK.

HE WAS ASKED WHAT MOLLIE USUALLY WORE WHEN SHE WENT JOGGING, WHETHER SHE LISTENED TO AN AUDIO DEVICE AND WHERE HE WAS WORKING ON THE DAY SHE WENT MISSING.

AUDIO PROVIDED BY COURT TV