POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa — The defense team of the man charged with murdering Mollie Tibbetts has been accused of hiding requests for information ahead of the trial.
Earlier this week, there was a return of service filed for a subpoena on Tibbetts’ banking records filed by lawyers for Cristhian Rivera.
Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown filed a motion saying that prosecutors were unaware of the subpoena until it had been served. In the motion, he said, “On its face, the subpoena appears to be a fishing expedition into the confidential banking records of Mollie Tibbets who is not a witness or party and is the person the defendant is charged with killing.”
According to the motion, Rivera’s defense did not give notice to the state and get court approval and did not enter it into the court’s filing system.
A hearing is scheduled on the matter for Thursday morning at 8:30 by telephone.
Tibbetts disappeared while jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn in July of 2018. Police discovered her body just over a month later concealed in a cornfield, saying Rivera led them to the location.
Rivera’s trial has been delayed several times while his defense argued police didn’t properly Mirandize him before questioning. A judge ruled that part of Rivera’s alleged confession to police will not be admissible during the trial. COVID-19 delays within the court system have also contributed to the trial date being pushed.
His trial is currently scheduled to begin May 17 and is being held in Davenport due to pre-trial publicity.