Mollie Tibbetts' accused killer in court, bond raised

Mollie Tibbetts' accused killer Cristhian Rivera first appearance in court

MONTEZUMA, Iowa - 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera was quiet in court Wednesday, as a Poweshiek County judge explained his rights and the charge against him.

Rivera is charged with first degree murder, accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts.

Criminal investigators say Rivera is an illegal immigrant.  His attorney, Alan Richards, claimed in court that Rivera is a legal resident of the United States, and told the judge Rivera came here as a child.  

Rivera’s attorney maintained Rivera’s innocence.  “Without any evidence wouldn’t it be sad if there was someone out there who was really involved," Richards said.

 Richards asked the judge to ban the media from covering Rivera's trial.  The judge denied the request.

The prosecutor asked the judge to raise Rivera's bail from $1 million dollars to $5 million.  She agreed.  

Rivera is scheduled for his preliminary hearing on August 31, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

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