Cristhian Rivera Trial on Hold Pending Supreme Court Ruling on Evidence

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IOWA —  The trial of the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts in 2018 has been postponed until the Iowa Supreme Court decides whether or not to settle a dispute over evidence in the case.

Cristhian Rivera is charged with First Degree Murder for allegedly killing Tibbetts and dumping her body in a cornfield.  Rivera reportedly confessed to police that he approached Tibbetts while she was jogging on July 18th, 2018.  After she threatened to call police, Rivera told police that he blacked out and the next thing he remembered was hiding her body in a cornfield.  He then led authorities to her body and was subsequently arrested and traces of Tibbetts’ blood were found in his car.

However, all of that evidence may not be admitted in court due to questions about whether or not Rivera was properly read his Miranda rights before speaking with police.  A district court judge has already ruled parts of his confession to be inadmissible.  Rivera’s attorneys say that ruling did not address all of the issues they raised in hearings last fall.

This week Rivera’s attorneys requested an immediate stay on all proceedings in the case until the Iowa Supreme Court can review all questions about the admissibility of evidence and provide “more clarity” to district courts.  On Wednesday a judge agreed and issued a stay, halting all proceedings until the Supreme Court can provide answers to the questions posed by Rivera’s attorneys.

Rivera was scheduled to go on trial in early February in Woodbury County.

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