State Agrees Some Statements From Cristhian Rivera Should be Suppressed

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POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa — State attorneys have agreed that some statements made by the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts should not be used in court.

Attorneys for Cristhian Rivera have argued since March that Rivera’s Miranda rights were violated and that certain evidence should be excluded from trial.

Rivera, an undocumented immigrant, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of the 20-year-old University of Iowa student.

Rivera’s attorneys want his alleged confession thrown out as well as evidence found during a search of his car excluded because they claim their client wasn’t read his Miranda rights. Investigators say Tibbetts’ blood was found during that search.

Attorneys for Rivera say he was not properly advised of his rights before his interview with police, and therefore, the entire confession should not be allowed at trial.

On Friday, state attorneys filed documents saying they agree that the first Miranda warning given to Rivera was incomplete because the officer did not inform him that anything he said could be used against him in court. The state agrees that any statements Rivera made between then and a few hours later when his Miranda rights were read to him a second time should be suppressed.

A judge is expected to rule on this Oct. 22. Rivera’s trial is set for Feb. 4.

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