Postcards ask Iowa judge to deny ‘deluxe’ defense to suspect in Mollie Tibbetts’ death

MONTEZUMA — Supporters of a right-wing group are asking a judge not to grant a “deluxe legal defense” for a Mexican national charged with killing an Iowa college student.

More than 200 people have sent postcards to Judge Joel Yates protesting his decision to authorize $5,000 for an investigator to work with Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s defense.

The postcards are distributed by the Virginia-based Secure America Alliance. They ask Yates not to “award any more taxpayer money for a deluxe legal defense for an illegal alien.”

Rivera is charged with killing 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 in Brooklyn. Rivera had worked for years at a dairy farm, and prosecutors say he was in the U.S. illegally.

Yates granted a routine request by Rivera’s defense last month to appoint a private investigator, writing that Rivera is indigent and the case “presents a need for an investigator.” He approved a $5,000 stipend, saying additional payments are subject to court approval.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.

Share: