Mollie Tibbetts murder: Judge rejects written testimony from Iowa murder suspect

Posted at 4:43 PM, November 14, 2019 and last updated 5:03 PM, July 21, 2023

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — A judge won’t consider written testimony from a man who claims he was unaware of his legal rights when he allegedly confessed to killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.


Judge Joel Yates ruled Thursday that he will not allow lawyers for Cristhian Bahena Rivera to submit a written affidavit from their client unless he agrees to submit to cross-examination by prosecutors.

Lawyers for Rivera, who is charged with murder, say they won’t allow him to testify. Yates rejected the affidavit.

Yates is considering a defense motion to suppress statements Rivera made during an interrogation in August 2018 in which he implicated himself in Tibbetts’ death. She disappeared a month earlier while running.

Rivera says in the affidavit that he was unaware of certain rights and scared to invoke others.