Wow. First, he lied about his client’s legal status, now this.
The man accused of murdering 20-year-old college sophomore Mollie Tibbetts made his first appearance at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Iowa on Wednesday.
At the hearing, Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s attorney Allan Richards argued against allowing expanded news media coverage of the case, and shed light on Rivera’s life before Tibbetts’ death.
“The coverage that’s out there is leaning all one way and in fact, government has weighed in at the highest levels,” Richards said in court.
“In our system of justice, he’s entitled to that presumption of innocence until some evidence is presented. Portraying Cristhian as something that he isn’t, in some ways I view that as a political payback for what’s swirling around,” Richards continued.
“One nod of the head, one glance, one slight of hand that will be partially taken out of context and presented over and over which would be highly prejudicial to the defendant, so I urge the court to exclude the media from these proceedings,” Richards added.
Richards later explained that before Tibbets’ murder, Rivera had “no prior criminal record,” telling PEOPLE: “He was just a part of the community. An all-American boy working really hard.”