The man suspected of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts in 2018 testified Wednesday that two armed men wearing masks forced him to drive up to the victim the day she went missing, numerous sources reported.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera told the courtroom during his trial that on July 18, 2018, two armed men confronted him in his home after he got out of the shower and forced him into his black Chevy Malibu, KCRG reported.
WATCH: The defense calls defendant Cristhian Bahena Rivera to the witness stand.
— Iowa’s News Now (@iowasnewsnow) May 26, 2021
Bahena Rivera said the men forced him to drive into town. Once they found Tibbetts, who was on a run, the men allegedly told Bahena Rivera to drive by her several times, according to KCRG. One of the men left the vehicle and walked toward the town, Bahena Rivera said.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is testifying that two masked men with weapons came to his home on July 18, 2018 and had him drive them to where Mollie Tibbetts was jogging. https://t.co/VpQLjFOtxC
— Mitch Fick (@MCFick) May 26, 2021
Bahena Rivera testified that the two men said they knew of his daughter and her mother and “that if I said something, they would take care of them,” according to Fox News.
Prosecutors said Bahena Rivera admitted that he got angry when Tibbetts threatened to call the police, and that he couldn’t remember what happened immediately after because he “blacked out.” He allegedly said the next thing he remembered was driving his vehicle with Tibbett’s bloody body in the trunk before carrying her body to a cornfield to hide her, according to Fox News.
Bahena Rivera said he heard the men open the car trunk, and he heard movement in the car before the trunk was closed, according to KCRG.
He said the men forced him to drive to a corn field, and forced him to give them his keys and phone and stay quiet. When Bahena Rivera looked into the trunk, he saw Tibbetts. When the defense asked why he didn’t call the police, he responded that he was scared and Tibbetts was already dead.
On Tuesday, Bahena Rivera’s attorneys argued that investigators may have convinced him that he couldn’t remember killing Tibbetts because he “blacked out” when he stabbed her, and coerced the confession. (RELATED: Police May Have Coerced Confession From Mollie Tibbetts’ Alleged Killer Bahena Rivera, Defense Says)
Investigators say they found blood in the car’s trunk, and after initially denying involvement, Bahena Rivera allegedly admitted to having approached Tibbetts and then killing her in a panic, the Associated Press reported.
After an 11-hour interrogation, Bahena Rivera allegedly led police to Tibbett’s body five weeks after the victim went missing. Investigators say she was buried under leaves at a cornfield and had injuries consistent with a stabbing.
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