Mollie Tibbetts' Murder Suspect "Good Community Person" Attorney Says

(KFI) - A preliminary autopsy report released Thursday from the Iowa State Medical Examiner, concluded that 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts died from "multiple sharp force injuries." 

The Gary and Shannon Show spoke with Allan Richards, the attorney representing Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexican man who was charged Wednesday with the murder of Tibbetts, after he reportedly confessed to authorities and led them to the missing college student's body. 

When Richards was asked about Rivera's immigration status, the attorney said he would argue the 24-year-old had legal status in the U.S., calling him a "good community person."

"I would ... argue he had status. He worked in this country. He was here as a minor. He paid his taxes. He did everything his employer said, he was a good community person," said Richards. "I understand now what he's been accused of, but aside from that, he was a productive member of the Iowa community." 

When asked if Richards had talked with his client about what happened the night Mollie Tibbetts went missing, the attorney said his only job right now is to participate in the "truth-seeking" process. 

"At this point my representation is just vigorous to ensure the administration of justice is proper - which is the truth-seeking process - and is designed to resolve human and societal problems in a rational, peaceful and efficient manner," Richards said. "And at this point we're still at the truth-seeking portion of the case."

"So, your defense isn't going to be he didn't do it, maybe just shoot for a manslaughter, heat-of-the-moment type thing?" Shannon asks. 

"He's presumed innocent, and from everything I've seen, he did not do it," Richards replied. He went on to say he has not seen any evidence from the department that his client was guilty. 

Richards says that after he receives the initial reports from the state on how they intend to prove their case, he'll be ready to help Cristhian.

"It still comes back to vigorously seeking the truth for Cristhian," Richards said.

Tibbetts was reported missing after she was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18th. 

Authorities searched nearly 5 weeks before Rivera reportedly confessed and led them to Tibbett's body.

Rivera, a Mexican immigrant who has been in the country for years, worked at Yarrabee Farms in rural Poweshiek County, Iowa. 

Rivera said he followed Tibbetts while she jogged and got scared when she threatened to call the police. He claims he "blacked out" after that and doesn't remember what happened next.

The Gary and Shannon Show and KFI News will continue to follow this story, bringing you the latest developments as they happen.

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