Defense paints Iowa murder suspect as hard-working immigrant

Posted at 1:12 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 14:12:51-04

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The defense says the man on trial for the 2018 stabbing death of a University of Iowa student is a hard-working, family-centered immigrant from Mexico who was pressured into making a false confession.

Jennifer Frese, a lawyer for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, told jurors in her opening statement that their hearts should break for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.

But she says authorities conducted an incomplete investigation into her death and were too quick to close the case. Bahena Rivera’s defense declined to give an opening statement when the trial began last week, opting to do so after prosecutors rested their case on Monday.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.