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Cristhian Bahena Rivera was found guilty of first-degree murder on Friday. Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old college student was abducted and fatally stabbed in 2018.

Bahena Rivera is a 26-year-old illegal alien from Mexico. He reportedly admitted in a 2018 interview with police that he followed Tibbets while she was running, got angry and “blacked out.”

The story he told from the witness stand varied greatly from the account he gave in the interview, however. While on the stand, Bahena Rivera claimed two masked mystery men kidnapped him, made him participate in the plot to kill Tibbetts, threatened his family and told him to keep quiet.

The prosecutor said there were not two other guys and that story was a “figment” of Bahena Rivera’s imagination. However, Bahena Rivera’s attorney said the prosecution failed to furnish a murder weapon, a crime scene, any eyewitnesses, a confession, a motive or scientific evidence to prove guilt.

The prosecution had surveillance video of Bahena Rivera’s vehicle near Tibbetts, his August 2018 interview and her DNA in his trunk.

Bahena Rivera worked on a dairy farm under the name of John Budd, according to The AP. The cattle operation was owned in part by Craig Lang, a prominent Iowa Republican who campaigned for Secretary of Agriculture in 2018. Lang was also the former president of Farm Bureau.

 

Author: Jacob Hall