An illegal Mexican immigrant working as an Iowa farmhand was convicted Friday of killing college student Mollie Tibbetts, who was knifed to death while jogging in 2018.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 26, was found guilty of Tibbetts’ murder two days after he denied fatally stabbing the 20-year-old woman during his trial in Davenport, Iowa.
Bahena Rivera will be sentenced July 15, the judge said Friday. He faces up to life in prison without parole.
The convicted murderer had claimed on the stand Wednesday that two armed mystery men commandeered his car and ordered him to repeatedly drive by the University of Iowa student until they got out of the car and killed her.
He said he discovered the woman’s body in his trunk only after the two men ran off from his car. Bahena Rivera admitted to dumping her body in a cornfield.
“I picked her up, and then I put her in the cornfield,” he testified, adding that he covered Tibbetts’ body with corn stalks because he “didn’t want her to be too exposed to the sun.”
He insisted that he didn’t go to the police because he was “scared” since it wouldn’t have been “seen as good [or] right.”
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