Attorneys for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the illegal alien who allegedly killed Mollie Tibbetts last year have filed documents accusing law enforcement of violating Rivera’s rights, according to the Des Moines Register.
Attorneys Chad and Jennifer Frese said their client was not advised of his Miranda Rights until well into a 12 hour long interview and that as a Mexican national, the Mexican consulate should have been contacted before proceeding with questioning.
Twenty-four-year-old Rivera came to the U.S. illegally as child and speaks very little English. Though a bilingual police officer was present and translating during questioning, attorneys suggest in their motion that Rivera’s limited Mexican education and his unfamiliarity with the American Justice system led to his making incriminating statements.
They also say the Miranda warning, when issued by the translating officer, did not have the same emphasis in Spanish that was essential to their client’s understanding of the gravity of the questions. The attorneys also insist that the “confrontational and coercive interrogation tactics” used by the officers took advantage of a “confused, exhausted and trusting Mexican national seeking help.”
A hearing to discuss the motion is scheduled for August 23. Rivera’s trial will take place in November.
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