MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – A judge has ordered a man charged in the kidnapping and murder of an Iowa college student to be jailed on a $5 million cash-only bond.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera had been held since Tuesday on a $1 million cash-only bond after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of college student Mollie Tibbetts.
At a hearing Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Diane Crookham-Johnson granted a state prosecutor’s request to raise the bond amount to $5 million.
Assistant attorney general Scott Brown noted that Rivera is suspected of being in the country illegally, and is charged with a “heinous crime.” He says the higher bond amount would protect the community.
Rivera’s lawyer, Allan Richards, said he plans to ask for a bond review hearing at a later date. He said his client is a young man who has no prior criminal history and has worked for a prominent local farmer for years.