The man convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts won’t be sentenced tomorrow after all.
A judge has delayed the sentencing of Cristhian Bahena Rivera at the request of his attorneys. Earlier this week, defense attorneys filed a motion after an inmate at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility claimed a second inmate told him that -he- killed Mollie Tibbetts in Brooklyn in July 2018 and planned to dump her body near a Hispanic man to make the Hispanic man appear guilty.
In an additional motion filed Tuesday night, this second inmate claims he saw Tibbetts bound and gagged at a trap house — a place where illegal drugs are sold. The new defense motion also refers to 50-year-old James Manuel Lowe, who allegedly ran a trap house in New Sharon.
Defense attorneys Chad and Jennifer Frese say they have learned that Lowe had dated Sarah Harrelson of Montezuma. She’s the mother of 11-year-old Xavior Harrelson, who has been missing since May 27. The Freses claim that prosecutors suppressed evidence and there should be a new trial for Bahena Rivera.
That motion will be heard Thursday morning in Montezuma. Judge Joel Yates has put Bahena Rivera’s sentencing on hold after the hearing on a motion for a new trial.
(By Joe Lancello, KBOE, Oskaloosa)