Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer not properly read Miranda rights: court docs

The illegal immigrant accused of fatally stabbing 20-year-old University of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts wasn’t properly read his Miranda rights, recently-filed court documents say.

Prosecutors admitted that an officer “inadvertently” failed to tell Cristhian Bahena Rivera that anything he said could be used against him when he was busted for murder around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 20 of last year, according to court filings reported by the Des Moines Register.

His rights were properly read to him at around 5:50 a.m., as he sat in a vehicle near the cornfield where Tibbetts’ body was found, the state said in the documents filed Friday.

Prosecutors agreed that any statements Rivera, now 25, made between that time frame shouldn’t be used as evidence in his trial, but argued that they could be used to refute testimony. The defense argues they shouldn’t be used at all.

Defense lawyers also claim police deceived Rivera by promising him that admitting to the grisly killing could be beneficial, which they said can “induce false confessions.”

During Rivera’s interview, one of the officers told him: “Help yourself, do it for yourself, think about you,” according to an official transcript cited in court records.

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“Think about your daughter that will need you. Right now, don’t you see that little face of that little girl?” the officer added.

But prosecutors argue all the evidence points to Rivera as “the killer, not a false confessor.”

Rivera was seen near Tibbetts when she vanished July 18, 2018 after going for a run in her tiny hometown of Brooklyn, authorities said. Her blood was found in the trunk of his car, they said.

He also led cops to Tibbetts’ body at the end of the interview, prosecutors said.

A judge is expected to decide what evidence will be allowed at trial during a court hearing Tuesday.

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