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Lawyers making moves prior to Rivera sentencing

BOOKLYN, IOWA — The attorneys for Cristhian Rivera are making some moves prior to his sentencing Thursday on the first-degree conviction in the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

Late last week, defense attorneys Chad and Jennifer Frese filed a motion for a new trial, claiming new evidence was discovered–after the jury reached its verdict–that clears Bahena Rivera.  Defense attorneys have also filed a writ of habeas corpus to have 45-year-old Arne Robert Maki appear in court.  Maki is currently an inmate at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility.  In the fall of 2020, Maki pleaded guilty to violating a non-contact order, domestic abuse assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and assault causing bodily injury or mental illness.  

Now there are several reports that say that two new witnesses came forward during the trial and named another suspect in Tibbetts’ death. According to a court filing, a person incarcerated at an unnamed Iowa correctional facility approached their prison chaplain after seeing media coverage of the trial.


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