DAVENPORT, Iowa — Testimony spanned over the course of seven days in the Cristhian Bahena Rivera murder trial in Scott County. The 26-year-old is accused of murdering 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.
Below is a list of witnesses that were called each day; there were a total of 29 people who served as witnesses in the trial. The State called 19 witnesses and the defense called 11 witnesses. One witness was called by both sides, Mollie Tibbetts' boyfriend, Dalton Jack.
Wednesday, May 19
- First witness: Blake Jack, the brother of Mollie Tibbetts’ boyfriend. He discussed when he found out Mollie was missing and how he tried to get ahold of her.
- Second witness: Dalton Jack, Mollie’s boyfriend. He testified about dating history, relationship with Mollie, where he was when she disappeared, and states that he believes Cristhian Bahena Rivera is guilty.
- Third witness: Deputy Matt Simpson with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office. He described what he found at the home where Mollie was known to stay.
- Fourth witness: Jillena Scheck, a coworker and family friend of Mollie’s. She recalled trying to get ahold of her when she didn’t show up for work.
- Fifth witness: Christina Steward, owns a beauty salon in town. She saw Mollie running the night she disappeared and went looking for her the next day.
- Sixth witness: Arely Nunez-Lorenzana, cousin of Cristhian Bahena Rivera. She talked about an agreement to buy him a car, a black Chevy Malibu, and their family gatherings.
Thursday, May 20
- Seventh witness: Deputy Steve Kivi, with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, who testified about a black Chevy Malibu caught on surveillance video, likely in the area when Mollie was running through.
- Eighth witness: Logan Collins, a Brooklyn, Iowa resident whose surveillance cameras caught the Malibu driving by.
- Ninth witness: Iowa DCI Agent Derek Riessen, testified about surveillance video that shows a runner and a Malibu that appears on camera multiple times.
- Tenth witness: Special Agent Michael Fischels, with the Department of Homeland Security, canvassed the farm where Cristhian Bahena Rivera worked and spoke with him in Spanish, discussing his car and whether he knew anything about Mollie Tibbetts.
- Eleventh witness: Special Agent Scott Green, with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, canvassed Bahena Rivera’s workplace, collected DNA samples
- Twelfth witness: Pamela Romero, former police officer, testified about Bahena Rivera leading her to the body of Mollie Tibbetts and the details he gave surrounding an interaction he had with her how the body was left in a cornfield.
Friday, May 21
- (Continued testimony) Pamela Romero, a former Iowa City police officer, testified about Bahena Rivera leading her to the body of Mollie Tibbetts and the details he gave surrounding an interaction he had with her how the body was left in a cornfield.
- Thirteenth witness: Amy Johnson, a criminalist with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, testified it took about three hours to examine the black Chevy Malibu, with four areas on the vehicle getting tested for blood. The day after looking at the car, Johnson returned to Poweshiek County to see what is later confirmed to be Tibbetts' body.
- Fourteenth witness Tara Scott, a criminalist in the DNA section at the Iowa State Crime Lab, testified that blood found on the trunk liners of the black Chevy Malibu matched the DNA profile of Mollie Tibbetts.
Monday, May 24
- Fifteenth witness: DCI Agent Trent Vileta, he first got involved in the case when Mollie was reported missing. He described her as low-risk in terms of becoming a victim due to her lifestyle.
- Sixteenth witness: Kevin Horan, FBI supervisory agent. He works with the Cellular Analysis Survey Team to determine cell phone data and records. He determined the location of her phone based on how it communicated with cell towers.
- Seventeenth witness: Dr. Dennis Klein, State Medical Examiner. Dr. Klein and his team retrieved the body from the cornfield ad did the autopsy. He testified there were nine definitive wounds on her body, and up to 12 possible.
- Eighteenth witness: Dr. Heather Garvin, a forensic anthropologist, examined Mollie’s skeleton after the autopsy was complete. She identified a minimum of 7 impacts based on her analysis of wounds on the bones.
Tuesday, May 25
- Nineteenth witness: Dr. Michael Spence, a DNA expert who is often called upon for second opinions in criminal cases.
- Twentieth witness: Alejandra Cervantes, Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s aunt, who says went to the sheriff’s office with her family when they heard her nephew was being questioned.
- Twenty-first witness: Iris Monarrez Gamboa, who once was in a relationship with Cristhian; the two have a daughter. She described him as a good father and good provider.
- Twenty-second witness: Anna Young, a fingerprinting specialist who works with the Iowa DCI crime lab. She analyzed items in Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trunk for latent fingerprints.
- Return witness: Dalton Jack, Mollie Tibbetts’ boyfriend, was questioned about his relationship and future plans with Mollie, as well as another woman he was seeing early on in the couple’s relationship. He testified about text conversations regarding those relationships. Dalton testified on the first day of the trial as well.
Wednesday, May 26
- Twenty-third witness: Brandon Bublitz, a field operations for the major crimes unit in the Iowa DCI, was assigned to look at potential blood evidence about a mile from where Mollie’s body was found.
- Twenty-fourth witness: Matt George with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation testified about the concept of victimology and talked about his conversations with Mollie’s boyfriend.
- Twenty-fifth witness: Jordyn (Lamb) Johnson, went to high school with Mollie and her boyfriend. She testified she previously dated Dalton Jack, Mollie’s boyfriend.
- Twenty-sixth witness: Defendant Cristhian Bahena Rivera took the stand, testifying he did put Mollie’s body in the cornfield, but says he wasn’t the one who killed her. He says he was threatened by two armed men who showed up in his living room and directed him to drive them, ultimately to where Mollie was running.
- Twenty-seventh witness: Jamie Lee Slife, an Iowa woman who called in tips once she heard about Mollie’s disappearance. She felt investigators should look into her father, who she said was a known abuser.
- Twenty-eighth witness: Luis Medina, who is a relative of Cristhians. He testified about his observations of Cristhians’ demeanor and said he and other family members went to the sheriff’s office the day Cristhian was being questioned.
Thursday, May 27
- Twenty-ninth witness: Nick Wilson, the employer of Mollie Tibbetts' boyfriend.
Watch: Closing Arguments in the Cristhian Bahena Rivera trial