POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa – The attorneys for a man accused of killing 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts have filed a motion, requesting a bill of particulars in the case.
Twenty-four-year-old Cristhian Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death. She disappeared while jogging in Brooklyn on July 18th. Her body was found more than a month later in a cornfield after investigators say Rivera led them to it.
A criminal complaint in the case says Rivera was identified as a suspect after surveillance video taken from a house on Tibbetts’ running route showed him following her in a vehicle. The complaint says Rivera admitted to following Tibbetts, even running after her and trying to talk to her. After she threatened to call police and reached for her phone, the complaint says Rivera admitted to becoming very angry and then “blacked out.” Rivera became aware again after realizing Tibbetts’ body was in his trunk. He then concealed the body underneath corn stalks and leaves in a corn field.
The motion for a bill of particulars in the case was filed Friday and claims the trial information and minutes of testimony do not contain enough information about the facts of the case to allow Rivera to prepare a defense. The motion says there isn’t any guidance on the element of premeditation, which is one of the requirements of a first-degree murder charge.
The motion also says no particulars “as to the method or how the defendant perpetrated the alleged offense” are in the trial information and minutes of testimony.
Rivera’s attorneys say their client “cannot understand the particulars of the offense and more specifically cannot understand upon which facts the state intends to rely to prove the required elements of the case.”
The attorneys also claim they have not been given access to a crime scene report and two laboratory reports.
The judge in the case has not yet made a ruling on the motion.
Rivera’s trial is scheduled for April 16th, 2019.