Judge Grants Partial Suppression of Testimonial Evidence in Tibbetts’ Murder Trial

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POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa — A judge has granted a motion to partially suppress some of the evidence gathered during interviews with Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged killer Cristhian Bahena Rivera, but some key evidence will still be allowed in court.

The testimonial evidence obtained from Rivera after the immigration detainer was placed on him around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018 to when the Miranda rights were adequately given to him at 5:50 a.m. the next day is now suppressed.

However, the judge ruled that prosecutors can still use the information provided by Rivera that led them to Tibbetts’ body. The judge also determined Rivera gave consent for law enforcement to search his vehicle. This means blood evidence found in the trunk of the car that allegedly contained Tibbetts’ DNA can be used in the trial.

Tibbetts disappeared while jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn in July of 2018. She was found just over a month later when police say Rivera showed them where he had concealed her body in a cornfield.

The trial is set for Feb. 4 in Woodbury County.

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