As jury selection began Monday for the trial against an illegal alien accused of murdering 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, legal experts say supporters of President Trump who remember his remarks on the murder may be excluded from hearing the case.
In August 2018, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 25-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, was charged with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts after police said he admitted to confronting and chasing down the young woman.
Following a nationwide search, Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, Iowa. The illegal alien lived in a region of Iowa surrounded by sanctuary cities, Breitbart News reported. He worked on a dairy farm using a stolen ID and Social Security card after allegedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as a child.
A day into jury selection, legal experts who spoke to the Associated Press (AP) said a number of factors may shut out potential jurors — including those who supported Trump and remember his remarks on the murder where he called Bahena Rivera an “illegal alien,” among other comments.
The AP reports:
Prospective jurors who admit to bias against noncitizens or non-English speakers could be disqualified, legal experts say. Trump supporters who remember his descriptions of Rivera as an “illegal alien” who came from Mexico to kill “an incredible, beautiful young woman” also may be blocked from hearing the case, they said. [Emphasis added].
Those who have posted opinions on social media about the highly publicized case will also have a problem serving. Female runners who were terrified by the crime and changed their routines are among the others who may have a hard time fairly judging the case. [Emphasis added].
The jury selection began at a convention center in Davenport, Iowa. About 175 prospective jurors will be interviewed over the course of two days and 12 will be chosen for the jury with three alternative jurors also being chosen.
At least two white men were excused from jury selection, the AP reports.
As Breitbart News reported last week, defense attorneys for Bahena Rivera asked the court to block the mention of the illegal alien’s prior criminal record and allegations surrounding that record. Such a move would prevent jurors from knowing about Bahena Rivera’s criminal record.
According to prosecutors, Bahena Rivera was the last person who saw Tibbetts jogging on the evening of July 18 in Brooklyn, Iowa. She went missing later that night.
Bahena Rivera, according to police, said Tibbetts was jogging when he saw her. At that point, Bahena Rivera said he approached Tibbetts and began talking to her. After Tibbetts told Bahena Rivera she would call the police if he did not stop following her, the illegal alien allegedly chased her and “blacked out” after that.
Police believe Bahena Rivera stabbed Tibbetts to death, dumped her body in a cornfield, and placed corn stalks over her to prevent law enforcement from finding her. The illegal alien has been held on a $5 million bond.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.