Mollie Tibbetts trial live – Vid of Cristhian Rivera being interrogated revealed along with car trunk used to move body
A VIDEO showing Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged murderer being interrogated and apparently confessing to her killing has been revealed at his trial today.
During the interrogation, Cristhian Rivera led police to the cornfield where Mollie’s body was found, telling them, “I brought you here, didn’t I? So that means that I did it.”
The defense, who presented the interrogation video as evidence, argued that Rivera appeared to be asleep during a portion of the questioning.
Pamela Romero, who interrogated Rivera, said on the witness stand that she was not aware Rivera was asleep, but a look at the interrogation transcript showed she had told the accused man, “You fell asleep.”
Pictures presented at Cristhian Rivera’s trial also appear to show bloodstains on the inside of his car’s trunk and back bumper.
According to the testimony of a crime scene investigator, a fishing pole and football in the trunk also tested “presumptive positive” for blood.
Mollie Tibbetts was seen in bombshell surveillance footage jogging as she’s followed by a sinister black Chevrolet Malibu moments before she was abducted.
On day two of the trial, the focus was on the footage given to police by a neighbor in which the black car could be seen following around 20 seconds behind the Iowa jogger on July 18, 2018.
Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of Rivera, who allegedly murdered Tibbetts, 20, and dumped her body in a field.
Rivera, a Mexican national who came illegally to the US as a teenager, is charged with first-degree murder for the 2018 slaying of the 20-year-old University of Iowa student.
The 26-year-old is participating in the trial through a Spanish-speaking interpreter.
Rivera’s arrest inflamed anger over illegal immigration, with then- President Donald Trump calling Rivera a killer who exploited lax immigration laws and Iowa’s governor calling him a predator.
The case deepened anxieties about random violence against women, since Tibbetts was attacked while out for exercise in her small town of Brooklyn, Iowa.
She never made it back to the house where she was dog sitting for her boyfriend and his brother.
The 20-year-old was studying to become a child psychologist.
BLOODY BODY ‘HIDDEN IN CORNFIELD’
Investigators say that Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who faces life in prison if convicted, led them to the cornfield where Mollie Tibbetts’ body was found in the early morning of August 21, 2018.
He told an officer at the scene that he approached Tibbetts while she was running and fought with her after she threatened to call the police.
Rivera said he didn’t remember how he killed her, but that he hid her bloody body in the field underneath cornstalks, former officer Pamela Romero testified.
MOLLIE TIBBETTS MURDER TRIAL TO CONTINUE NEXT WEEK
Bahena Rivera, 26, is charged with first-degree murder in Mollie Tibbetts’ stabbing death.
Tibbetts, 20, vanished while out running on July 18, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa.
Investigators recovered her partially naked, decomposing body from a cornfield a month later.
Prosecutors have used the DNA evidence, surveillance video showing Bahena Riveras Chevy Malibu driving near where Tibbetts was running, and the suspects partial confession to build their case.
The trial is expected to continue next week.
BLOOD ‘MATCHED TIBBETTS’ PROFILE’ – COURT TOLD
Blood found in the trunk of a farmhand’s car was an exact match for a University of Iowa student who was abducted and killed while out for a run in 2018, a DNA analyst told jurors on Friday.
Tara Scott, a criminalist in the DNA section of Iowas crime lab, said she analyzed a swab taken from a blood stain found on the trunk seal of Cristhian Bahena Riveras Chevy Malibu after investigators recovered the body of Mollie Tibbetts.
“The profile I had from Mollie Tibbetts and the profile from that blood matched,” Scott testified. “They were exactly the same.”
IN THE SCUFFLE, RIVERA ‘BLACKED OUT’
“[Rivera] told me he got angry and they started fighting, usually when he becomes mad he blacks out,” translator Pamela Romero went on. “He did not remember putting her inside the car.”
She alleged that Cristhian Rivera remembered Mollie Tibbetts’ body was in the trunk when he looked down at his legs in his car and saw her earbuds.
Romero told the court Rivera allegedly led cops to the cornfield where her body was body.
“He remembers that there was blood he told me that he took her out of the car, put her on top of his shoulder, carried her inside the cornfield, covering her in corn leaves, and leaving right away,” she continued.
I asked him was it the head that was bleeding, the forehead? He put his hand in the motion to his neck. He stated and he pointed to the neck.”
CRISTHIAN RIVERA ALLEGEDLY SAID HE ‘JOGGED’ AFTER MOLLIE TIBBETTS
Pamela Romero, who was translating for Crsithian Rivera, told the court: “He told me he saw her running again three times – one of those times, he parked his car behind her, ran after her.
“He came close to her so that she noticed him and she turns around makes the attempt to use the cellphone to call the police.
“He got angry and that is when they started fighting.”
When the state asked if this meant he followed her in his car, Romero said yes, clarifying that he told her he had started “jogging behind” Tibbetts.
Romero said that Tibbetts “made the attempt to use the cellphone” but Rivera allegedly told cops this made him “angry” and said “they starting fighting.”
“Mollie tried to slap him and started screaming at him,” Romero said.
ERROR IN MIRANDA RIGHTS DELIVER
Former Iowa City police officer Pamela Romero, who was a translater for Cristhian Rivera, took the stand Thursday.
The ex-cop, who was born in Mexico and raised in the US, left one crucial part out of the Miranda rights when she read them out to Rivera during the August interview.
She accidentally didn’t him that his statements could be used against him in court, which led to evidence being suppressed, reports say.
However, Court TV noted during their livestream that the judge ruled that any physical evidence stemming from Rivera’s voluntary admissions.
CRISTHIAN RIVERA’S ALLEGED CONFESSION TO COPS
When investigators interviewed Bahena Rivera on August 20, 2018, he initially denied knowing anything about her disappearance.
But when cops showed him the footage of his black Chevrolet Malibu – with its distinctive chrome rims, handles, and mirrors – driving past her repeatedly, he allegedly changed his story.
Deputy Kivi took the stand Thursday morning and confirmed that he saw, stopped, and identified Rivera driving the car on the highway.
When Rivera was shown a still photo of his distinctive car which had Mollie Tibbetts’ blood in it, he allegedly admitted that he did see her.
CRISTHIAN RIVERA INITIALLY SAID HE NEVER SAW MOLLIE TIBBETS
Agent Michael Fischels with the Dept. of Homeland Security took the stand on Thursday.
Fischels, who is fluent in Spanish, interviewed Rivera on August 20, 2018, at Yarrabee Farms where he worked.
The DHS agent said he appeared to be calm during their chat and he wasn’t driving the Chevy Malibu that day.
Fischels said he allowed cops to search his car and gave them permission to search his home, and agreed to go to the sheriff’s office.
When asked what he’d said about missing Mollie Tibbetts that day, Fischels recalled he said: ” No, I have never seen her,” “no not at any time,” and “just on the television.”
DEFENSE PAINTS DALTON JACK AS A POSSIBLE SUSPECT
Defense attorney Chad Frese tried to paint Dalton Jack, Mollie Tibbett’s live-in boyfriend, as a possible suspect during the trial on Wednesday.
Frese asked Dalton Jack why he neglected to tell law enforcement that he “had an affair” with another woman.
“Mollie was upset that you cheated on her, correct?” Frese asked Dalton.
Dalton – who was 20 when his girlfriend died – previously told the defense lawyer that he didn’t think those details were relevant to the case.
He enlisted in the army shortly after Mollie’s body was found.
BROTHER OF TIBBETT’S BOYFRIEND DESCRIBES SEARCH FOR TIBBETTS
Mollie Tibbetts was housesitting for her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and his brother, Blake Jack, at the time of her disappearance.
The brothers were out of town on separate construction jobs.
Blake Jack took the stand on Wednesday, saying that Dalton had a good relationship with Mollie. He said Mollie had been watching their dogs, and he went to check on her when she didn’t answer her phone.
Blake noted that they didn’t lock their door, so he went in and let the dog out of the basement. He asked his neighbors, Jeff and Michelle Hall and Nate Hopwood if they had seen anything unusual.
“After kind of doing our best to track her down, we decided to call law enforcement,” Jack said, noting that a group of Tibbett’s friends had looked for her with him.
He also said there had been a big storm the day before.
WHO IS MOLLIE TIBBETT’S BOYFRIEND, DALTON JACK?
Mollie Tibbetts and Dalton Jack met in high school in Brooklyn, Iowa, in October 2015.
Their dates involved “a lot of dinner and movies,” and many days they would just sit at home and enjoy each other’s company.
Even after she decided to attend the University of Iowa in nearby Iowa City and he stayed back in Brooklyn to live with his brother and work construction, they saw each other every weekend and even some weekdays.
According to Jack, almost every day Tibbetts would go on an evening run in town.
At the time of her disappearance, Jack maintained hope that she would one day return safely.
“You just have to meet her. She is the sweetest, kindest person I ever met in my life,” he told the outlet.
WHO ELSE WAS QUESTIONED IN MOLLIE’S DISAPPEARANCE?
Kivi revealed on the stand on Thursday that initially, police connected Tibbett’s disappearance to Wayne Cheney, who lived in Poweshiek County.
The deputy told defense attorney Chad Frese that Cheney had a reputation of being “a little different around women.”
Cheney was questioned after Tibbetts disappeared because the southeast part of the county was where her phone “powered off or the last known location of the phone.”
“If there were a tip about a person who had a history of violence against women, sexual [deviance] in that quadrant would that be something police follow up on?” Frese asked.
“Yes,” Kivi replied. “We had a missing 20-year-old. (Cheney) was interviewed. He was looked at very closely and cleared.”
He confirmed that another property owner was also questioned by police and his property searched.
CAR SPOTTED IN MOLLIE’S AREA NEAR TIME OF DISAPPEARANCE
Deputy Kivi said on Thursday that home surveillance footage revealed a suspicious black Chevy Malibu that would have to have been in the area while Mollie’s was running.
“That particular vehicle would have had to have been in the area when Mollie Tibbetts was jogging,” he said. “He would have had to have seen her.”
Kivi said the vehicle was deemed of interest to Iowa police on August 15, 2018 – two months after Tibbetts’ vanished during her run.
He confirmed that he saw the car on Highway 63 and “caught the license plate” before following the truck.
It was also revealed that Rivera’s black Chevy Malibu, which reportedly had Tibbetts’ blood in the trunk liner, prosecutors said, was owned by his cousin.
On Wednesday, Nunez-Lorenzana took the stand and confirmed that she bought the Chevy Malibu for Rivera in her name and wasn’t aware of anyone else using it.
She said Rivera was unable to buy it himself due to his immigration status and that he was conscientious about paying her back for the $300 monthly payments.
DEPUTY TESTIFIES AT MOLLIE TIBBETS TRIAL
The State has called on Poweshiek County Deputy Steve Kivi to take the stand Thursday morning as the first witness.
Kivi said he received missing person report on July 19, 2018, the day after Mollie Tibbetts vanished.
The investigation was organized on the 20th. Kivi confirmed that he searched Blake Jack’s home.
“I thought we could ping the phone, locate the phone, in an effort to find [her],” Kivi told the court, noting that investigators learned Tibbetts liked to vary her running routes.
Kivi said police combed remote areas and fields during the five-week search, going door-to-door to farm residences and rural residences in the south-eastern quarter of the county.
“I believe we went to every resident in Brooklyn [Iowa],” he said.
JUDGE REMINDS JURY THAT CRISTHIAN RIVERA IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY
Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial for the murder of Mollie Tibbetts began Wednesday with opening arguments.
The trial got underway shortly after 9.30AM local time, and District Court Judge Joel Yates said the defendant was innocent until proven guilty following the intense media scrutiny and interest in his case.
In 2018, Former President Donald Trump criticized Rivera, using him as an example of the need for stricter immigration laws.
Rivera, an undocumented immigrant, was blasted by Trump as a criminal who exploited lax immigration laws.
ACCUSED KILLER CRISTHIAN RIVERA HAS AN INTERPRETER FOR THE TRIAL
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is participating in his trial through a Spanish-speaking interpreter.
Defense lawyer Chad Frese said during jury selection that Rivera enjoys the same rights as US citizens and that his lack of English language skills could not be held against him.
Opening arguments began Wednesday.
WHERE IS THE MOLLIE TIBBETTS TRIAL AND HOW LONG WILL IT BE?
Opening statements in the Mollie Tibbetts trial were scheduled for May 19, 2021, at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is on trial for the murder of the college student. He is accused of attacking and killing Mollie three years ago in July 2018 while she was going for a routine jog in Brooklyn, Iowa.
The trial was moved about 100 miles from Poweshiek County to Scott County after defense lawyers said residents around the small town of Brooklyn had strong opinions about their client’s guilt.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MOLLIE TIBBETTS?
Mollie Tibbetts was a 20-year-old college student in Iowa when she was killed.
She attended the University of Iowa before her death.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is accused of murdering Mollie when she was out running in Brooklyn, Iowa.
She was dog-sitting at the home of her boyfriend’s brother at the time, and went out for a jog on July 18, 2018.
That’s when Rivera said he got out of the car and starting running alongside Mollie, who threatened to call the police.
He claimed he blacked out and later led investigators to her body in a field.
COURTROOM PHOTOGRAPHER TOSSED OUT FOR PHOTOGRAPHING JURY
District Court Judge Joel Yates, who is presiding over the trial of Cristhian Rivera, threatened to send a courtroom photographer to jail for photographing the jury.
Iowa courts do not allow the press to photograph the members of the jury. A reporter, who said they were unaware of the rule, did so anyway.
A juror noticed, asking the judge: “I was under the impression they weren’t supposed to photograph us?”
Yates took the pool photographer’s camera. The photographer – whose identity is unknown – said their editor said it was permissible to photograph the jury.
According to the Des Moines Register, who reported on the incident, Yates asked whether he should first jail the photographer or the editor. He added that he wasn’t joking.
GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF MOLLIE TIBBETTS SHOWN TO JURORS
Graphic images of Mollie Tibbetts’ body, her underwear, and clothes were revealed during Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial today after he allegedly dumped the jogger’s bloodied body in a rural cornfield.
On Friday, the court heard how items of clothing were discovered scattered around the 20-year-old’s remains after she was stabbed in the chest, ribs, neck, and skull.
The images included one where Tibbetts’ remains and hair are believed to be visible, causing some jurors to look away in horror, one pool reporter told Court TV.
DID CRISTHIAN RIVERA CONFESS TO THE POLICE?
Rivera told police that Mollie Tibbetts was “hot” and “attractive.”
Officer Pamela Romero testified during day three of the trial that Rivera had also brought police to the scene of the crime, where he confessed.
“I brought you here, didn’t I? So that means that I did it. I don’t remember how I did it,” Rivera said, according to Romero.
Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver told the court earlier that Rivera admitted he had seen Mollie the night she disappeared.
BLOOD WAS FOUND ON MOLLIE TIBBETTS’ CLOTHING, CRIME LAB SAYS
During the third day of Cristhian Rivera’s trial for the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, Iowa State Crime Lab examiner Tara Scott testified that Tibbetts’ underwear tested positive for blood, according to KCCI-8.
Tibbetts’ underwear and shorts were strewn across the corn field where her body was found.
A stained napkin from Rivera’s home also tested positive for blood, the examiner said.
PHOTOS AT CRISTHIAN RIVERA’S TRIAL SHOW BLOOD STAINS IN HIS TRUNK
Pictures presented at Rivera’s trial also appear to show bloodstains on the inside of his car’s trunk and back bumper.
According to the testimony of a crime scene investigator, a fishing pole and football in the trunk also tested “presumptive positive” for blood.
TIBBETTS WAS AVID JOGGER
Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver said Tibbetts – an “avid runner” who ran cross-country and track in high school – was housesitting for while friends were out of town on separate construction jobs as Rivera looked on
“It was customary for Mollie [to go running in the evening],” Klaver said, before detailing the “intensive investigation” that ensued when she went missing that day, a probe which spanned five weeks.
WHAT DID THE DEFENSE ARGUE?
The defense for Cristhian Rivera argued in day three of the trial that Rivera was too tired to give an honest statement during his questioning.
A video shown in court showed Rivera seeming to fall asleep during the grueling 11-hour interrogation.
The defense continued that Rivera’s confession could have been false, since he was not in the right state of mind to give a truthful statement.