(CNN) A farm laborer who did not qualify for parole for the first-degree murder of college student Molly Tibbets in July 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison.
A 20-year-old woman has been sentenced to three years in prison after her body was found in Cornfield, Iowa.
Christian Sister Rivera, a 27-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, admitted in an interview with police in August 2018 that she had gone after the Tibbets when she went for an evening run, got angry at her and was “blacked out”. According to the affidavit of arrest and the evidence of the case. He said he came later and she realized there was bleeding in the trunk of her vehicle and he buried her in a distant Iowa cornfield, prosecutors said.
Rivera then took police to Cornfield, where investigators found her body in the deadly wind, prosecutors said.
“Mr. Rivera, I have chosen this special sentence for you, taking into account the nature of the crime committed by you, the loss of the victim and the victim’s family, the need for rehabilitation and the need to protect society from further crimes by you and others,” Judge Joel Yates said in sentencing.
After Rivera was found guilty, public prosecutor Scott Brown said the Tibetans family was “relieved” and “happy” by the decision.
“The family, and other people who are close to him, live with him forever,” Brown said of the tragedy. “We hope that in the end … when these cases are over, we can bring a sense of justice to them, even if we never have the ability to bring Molly back.”
The Tibetans disappeared after the run
The Tibbets disappeared after a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, drawing widespread attention that drew national attention.
She was studying psychology at the University of Iowa and wanted to get a doctorate and write books, her father said. Rivera, meanwhile, had worked for four years at the nearby dairy farm Yarabi Farm.
Her death and Rivera’s documented condition pushed the tragic story into partisan political debate around immigration. Former President Donald Trump brought up her story as part of his humiliation Immigrants documented as rapists and murderers, Though Existing evidence The documented status indicates that it is not related to the crime.
Rowley Tibets, Molly’s father, has repeatedly called on politicians to stop using her daughter’s death to oppose immigration, saying the views are “deeply racist.”
Amazing testimony about masked men
The plaintiff based her lawsuit on three key issues: surveillance video of Riviera’s vehicle near Tibet, her access to investigators in August 2018, and her DNA found in his trunk.
“When you put this evidence together, there can be no other conclusion than that the defendant killed Molly Tibets,” Powell County attorney Bart Clever said at the start of the trial.
After finding her for more than a month, when did the break in the case come Home surveillance video Came to light from the night of July 18, 2018, in which a woman’s running silhouette – as well as black Chevy Malibu – was frequently seen, the plaintiffs said. An investigator later saw the vehicle and identified the driver as Riviera, Clever said.
After initially refusing to learn about Tibbets, she later confessed that she had seen him the night she disappeared, that she found him attractive, and that he turned back for a second look, Clever told the jury. He allegedly confessed that he followed the Tibetans and ran next to her. She had threatened to call police and Rivera admitted he was angry and quarreled with her, Clever told the court.
“The next thing he remembers,” he said, was he was driving and noticed Tibetans in his trunk, Clever said. According to Clever, Rivera allegedly confessed that he pulled her bloody body out of the trunk, took her to a field, and placed a stalk of corn on her body.
He then took investigators to the scene, where her body was found hidden under a corn stalk, prosecutors said.
Although Rivera did not explicitly tell investigators that he stabbed Tibetans, prosecutors said that was the only finding.
“He says he blacked out. He didn’t black out. He just didn’t tell (the investigator),” Brown said Thursday.
“He’s telling officers, saying, ‘I killed Molly Tibets.’ That’s what he’s saying. That’s what the statements suggest, “he added.
Rivera’s own defense testimony strongly opposed his earlier entry.
He testified that he was taking a bath when two unidentified, masked men entered his trailer and asked for his help. One had a knife and the other had a gun, he said.
He testified that they brought themselves to his black Chevy Malibu and told him to go to the city. He said that when he met a young woman, he now knew she had Tibetans.
Rivera testified that he was told to stop, while the man with the knife got out of the car. He said the two men then got out of the vehicle and he heard them opening and closing the trunk. When the men left, he said he had found a Tibetan body in the trunk of the car. He said he pulled her body out of the trunk, placed her in a corn field, and covered her body with corn stalks.
“I don’t know why the men asked for his help,” Rivera said. He testified that he made a false confession to the police because he feared the men would harm his daughter and ex-girlfriend and because he thought the investigators would help him with what he wanted to hear.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Karma Hassan contributed to the report.