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Suspect in Mollie Tibbetts murder blames mystery men for slaying

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 8:48 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The man on trial for the 2018 abduction and stabbing death of a University of Iowa student has claimed for the first time that two masked men were responsible for the crime but forced him to take part at gunpoint.

The defense called Cristhian Bahena Rivera to testify at his first-degree murder trial Wednesday. He admitted that his car was the one on surveillance video circling Mollie Tibbetts while she ran in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18, 2018, that she ended up in its trunk and that he hid her body in a cornfield. But the farmworker denied that he was responsible for stabbing her to death.

The defense rested later Wednesday, and closing arguments were scheduled for Thursday.

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