Two new witnesses in the Mollie Tibbetts case persuade the judge to postpone the man’s sentencing.
According to the Associated Press, two witnesses recently come forward independently, both partially backing Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s claim of being forced to knife Mollie Tibbetts.
Bahera Rivera alleged that two masked guys killed Tibbetts and kept him at gunpoint while driving them around and disposing of her body.
According to the witnesses, a man with a history of violence claimed responsibility for Tibbetts’ death.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
On Wednesday, a judge postponed the sentence of the man convicted of the murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, citing the need for more time to investigate fresh information pointing to other potential suspects.
At the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Bahena Rivera, 27, was set to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release on Thursday.
Judge Joel Yates postponed the sentencing until he hears the defense’s demands to compel prosecutors to divulge evidence about other suspects and to order a fresh trial.
Yates said the first hearing will be held on Thursday, and he would then establish a date for the hearing on whether a new trial should be granted.
According to Lynn Hicks, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, prosecutors are confident in Bahena Rivera’s culpability. They hadn’t filed any documents in response to the latest events as of Wednesday.
In May, a jury found Bahena Rivera guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Tibbetts, 20, who vanished in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, while out for a run in July 2018.
Prosecutors used surveillance video to show Bahena Rivera driving near where Tibbetts vanished while jogging, DNA evidence that her blood was found in his trunk, and a partial confession in which Bahena Rivera led investigators to a remote cornfield where her body was discovered a month after she vanished.
According to Bahena Rivera’s lawyers, one of the witnesses claimed the man told him while they were both in a county jail that Tibbetts had been kidnapped and taken to a nearby “trap house” for sex trafficking before being slain.
The man informed the witness that the house belonged to a 50-year-old man who ran the business. This is a condensed version of the information.