(Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP)

Tibbetts Suspect In Country Legally?

Lawyer says employer had him cleared legally

August 22, 2018 - 2:41 pm

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) —  An attorney for the man charged with murder in the death of an Iowa college student is claiming the government is wrong in its statements that he is in the country illegally.

Allan M. Richards, an attorney for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, stated in a court document filed Wednesday that an employer has said Rivera is in the U.S. legally. The document names Craig Lang, a former head of the Iowa Board of Regents who is co-owner of a dairy that employed Rivera. The Lang family said in a statement Tuesday that Rivera's immigration status had been confirmed by an E-Verify electronic immigration status check.

Richards argued for a gag order in the case and mentioned President Donald Trump, who he described as "sad and sorry Trump." Trump mentioned the case at a rally Tuesday night in West Virginia and said it demonstrated the need for tougher immigration laws.

Richards said Trump's comments will "poison the entire possible pool of jury members."

The lawyer asked the court to prevent the government from claiming Rivera is in the country illegally.

Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.


Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.