Day 1 – Rivera Motion to Suppress

A police officer who obtained a confession from the suspect in the disappearance and death of Mollie Tibbetts says she made an honest mistake by initially failing to read him his legal rights. Pamela Romero, who was an Iowa City Police Officer at the time, testified Wednesday (11/13) in Poweshiek County that she tried to read Cristhian Bahena Rivera his Miranda warnings from memory, rather than from a printed card, during the August 20, 2018, interrogation.  She said she didn’t realize until much later that she had inadvertently failed to warn him that his statements could be used against him in court.  After several more hours of questioning, Rivera led police officers to a cornfield where they discovered Tibbetts’ body underneath a stack of leaves and stalks. Romero says Rivera provided substantial information about what happened to Tibbetts at that point.  Rivera’s lawyers have asked a judge to suppress Rivera’s alleged confession, in part due to the incomplete Miranda warning.  Earlier on Wednesday, an agent for the Division of Criminal Investigation testified that law enforcement would have found Tibbetts’ body without Rivera’s help.  Trent Vileta testified that a farmer in the field or searchers from a helicopter would have spotted Mollie’s bright pink running shoes.  Rivera’s attorneys will present their arguments Thursday morning (11/14) in Montezuma.

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