A judge won’t consider written testimony from a man who claims he was unaware of his rights when he allegedly confessed to killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.
A defense expert testified Thursday that a confession by the suspect is not reliable because he was sleep deprived and susceptible to coercion after hours of questioning.
Brian Leslie, a consultant with expertise in interrogation techniques, said he reviewed video of the 11-hour interrogation of Cristhian Bahena Rivera that took place in August 2018. He noted that the suspect denied involvement in Tibbett’s disappearance until near the end, around 4 a.m., after he had been falling in and out of sleep.
Rivera, a Mexican national who was living illegally in the United States, is scheduled to stand trial in February and faces life in prison if convicted.