Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s Lawyers Say Mollie Tibbetts Prosecutors Hid Evidence of Similar Abduction

Protection attorneys representing Mollie Tibbetts’ convicted killer offered extra bombshell new claims on Thursday, a day after a judge delayed sentencing due to new information pointing to other potential suspects.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an undocumented farm worker, was convicted in May of abducting the College of Iowa pupil whereas she was out jogging, killing her, and dumping her in a cornfield. He maintains that he was abducted by two masked men, who compelled him to assist them kidnap and kill Tibbetts—a narrative the jury in the end didn’t purchase.

However, in a July 8 motion, his attorneys stated two individuals got here ahead individually after seeing Bahana Rivera’s testimony on TV to corroborate components of his story. One was an inmate, Arni Maki, who stated one other inmate named Gavin Jones had admitted to kidnapping Tibbetts for intercourse trafficking, maintaining her in a entice home run by a 50-year-old man named James Low, then killing her when the publicity across the case blew up and plotting in charge it on a random Hispanic individual.

The second individual was Jones’ ex-girlfriend, who got here ahead to say that Jones had as soon as held a gun to her head and admitted he killed Tibbetts. Jail information and courtroom information verify the relationships between Jones and Maki, and Jones and his ex-girlfriend, protection attorneys Jennifer and Chad Frese stated.

On Thursday, the attorneys revealed that they solely came upon after the trial that one other lady was picked up by an Iowa state trooper on the aspect of Freeway 92 in 2019. She instructed authorities that she had been launched to Low at a Casey’s retailer in Brooklyn, Iowa, in Could 2018 and was lured again to a entice home the place she was then drugged and prostituted nightly for weeks.

Tibbetts vanished from the identical city two months later in a case that was seized upon politically as a result of suspect’s undocumented standing.

“This lady indicated that she was in a room by herself however that she may what voices of different ladies, and voices of males, and Low speaking within the morning saying, ‘Did you may have a very good time, was it value it?’” Jennifer Frese stated. “This lady was deemed credible, as legislation enforcement requested from a Justice of the Peace a search warrant and so they have been granted a search warrant for James Low’s residence.”

Low was taken into custody final week by federal authorities on unrelated unlawful weapons expenses and hasn’t been charged in relation to any lacking individuals instances.

Nonetheless, Chad Frese stated investigators by no means offered them with details about their investigation into Low, or the second lady’s abduction—info he believes could also be exculpatory for Bahena Rivera.

“They’d that two years prior on trial,” he stated. “They sat on info.”

Low was lately named a suspect within the disappearance of an 11-year-old Montezuma, Iowa, boy named Xavior Harrelson, who vanished in Could this 12 months and hasn’t been discovered.

“We have now info that three individuals have vanished out of skinny air on this small rural county,” Jennifer Frese stated. “Mollie Tibbetts, Xavior Harrelson and the lady that reported being kidnapped in Could of 2018 and intercourse trafficked.”

Chad Frese added: “There’s one thing rotten on this space and [prosecutors] don’t wish to assist us present any info.”

However prosecutor Scott Brown stated Thursday there was “zero” proof linking the three instances, and prosecutors would strongly resist any effort to assist dig up new proof.

“They wish to go and knock themselves out looking for out all this complicated info that’s simply been offered to the courtroom, go proper forward and do it,” he stated Thursday. “However there’s nothing within the guidelines, nothing within the case legislation, that compels the state to chase its tail as a result of they’re asking us to do it.”

He stated earlier jailhouse statements by Maki had been handed on to the Freses earlier than trial however they apparently have been uninterested as a result of the statements didn’t line up with a few of what Bahena Rivera had stated.

“They’ve acquired patrons regret when it comes with this info,” he stated.

Choose Joel Yates indicated Thursday he might set a date for a listening to on whether or not a brand new trial is warranted.


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