If this case gets tossed, the justice system is in terrible shape.
At the hearing, in Poweshiek County, Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s attorney, Allan Richards, argued against allowing expanded news media coverage of the case and shed some light on Rivera’s life before Tibbetts’ death.
“The coverage that’s out there is leaning all one way and, in fact, [the] government has weighed in at the highest levels,” Richards said in court.
Authorities have described Rivera as an undocumented immigrant and both pundits and politicians, including President Donald Trump, have invoked the case as a talking point in ongoing immigration debates.
Tibbetts’ relatives appear to have rebuked such rhetoric, however, with her aunt writing, in part: “Evil comes in EVERY color.”
“In our system of justice, he’s entitled to that presumption of innocence until some evidence is presented,” Richards continued. “Portraying Cristhian as something that he isn’t, in some ways I view that as a political payback for what’s swirling around.”