Court documents: state paid more than $12k in interpreter fees for man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, suspect charged with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, Photo Date: 8/21/2018 / Photo: Poweshiek County / (MGN)
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(KWQC) - The state of Iowa has paid more than $12,000 to hire an interpreter for the man accused of killing a University of Iowa student in 2018.

Court documents show that as of July 24, the state has paid a total of $12,485 to Interpreters, Inc. for 227 hours of work needed for Cristhian Bahena Rivera's defense. The Missouri interpreter assigned to Rivera's defense is paid at a rate of $55 per hour.

25-year-old Rivera is charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared while on a jog in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18, 2018.

Investigators later found her body in a cornfield in rural Poweshiek County on August 21. Investigators say Rivera led them to Tibbetts' body. They say he followed Tibbetts in his car while she was jogging but panicked and got mad when she threatened to call the police.

Rivera claims he blacked out and doesn't recall what happened. Immigration authorities say he came to the U.S. illegally.

An autopsy found Tibbetts died from multiple stab wounds.

Rivera's trial is set for Nov. 12 in Woodbury County. He faces life in prison.