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Iowa duo deny any involvement in Mollie Tibbetts’ dying

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two childhood associates named by protection attorneys as alternate suspects within the killing of College of Iowa pupil Mollie Tibbetts stated Friday that they had nothing to do with the crime.

Legal professionals for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the person convicted of killing Tibbetts, named Gavin Jones and Dalton Hansen as maybe accountable for Tibbetts’ 2018 stabbing dying in courtroom filings this week.

They made that assertion after inmate Arne Maki got here ahead in Might to say Jones informed him that Jones and Hansen killed Tibbetts after she was kidnapped and briefly held at a house used for intercourse trafficking. Jones’ ex-girlfriend got here ahead independently the identical day to say that Jones, 21, additionally informed her that he killed Tibbetts.

A prosecutor stated in courtroom Thursday that there’s “zero” proof to substantiate Jones’ alleged confessions and that there ought to be little question Bahena Rivera killed Tibbetts.

Reached by cellphone individually Friday by The Related Press, Jones and Hansen stated that they had no involvement in Tibbetts’ disappearance from her hometown of Brooklyn, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Iowa Metropolis, or her violent dying. They stated they hadn’t spoken with investigators however have been keen to take action in an effort to clear their names.

“The cops haven’t talked to me. Nobody has talked to me. You’re the first person who has referred to as me,” stated Jones, of Oskaloosa. “I wasn’t concerned in something. I’ve alibis and every thing. I’m simply ready for somebody to come back speak to me.”

He ended the interview with out answering whether or not he had made prior statements about Tibbetts’ dying.

The 24-year-old Hansen, of Sigourney, stated allegations that he was concerned in Tibbetts’ dying are “loopy” and beginning to unfold on-line.

“I’ve no clue why my identify even obtained introduced up with this,” Hansen stated.

Jurors convicted Bahena Rivera in Might after a two-week trial throughout which prosecutors argued that the 27-year-old farmhand stalked and approached Tibbetts whereas she was out for a night run. They stated he killed her after she threatened to name police and dumped her physique in a cornfield.

Bahena Rivera claimed in his courtroom testimony that two masked males broke into his trailer and compelled him to drive them round at gunpoint. He stated they stumbled on Tibbetts, and that one in every of them stabbed her to dying and loaded her physique in his automotive’s trunk earlier than instructing him to eliminate it.

Maki and Jones’ ex-girlfriend got here ahead later that day to inform authorities about Jones’ alleged confessions, which Maki thought have been bluster till listening to Bahena Rivera’s testimony.

The protection argues that their testimony might have modified the responsible verdict, and Decide Joel Yates agreed to delay Bahena Rivera’s sentencing whereas he considers whether or not to order a brand new trial.

Yates on Friday denied the protection’s request to order prosecutors to show over details about prior intercourse trafficking investigations within the space, saying that might be “nothing greater than a fishing expedition.”

Hansen stated he and Jones grew up collectively within the small city of Sigourney and have been associates on and off till about two years in the past. He stated that like Jones, he was housed on the Keokuk County jail similtaneously Maki however didn’t know him effectively.

Hansen and Jones each stated that they’d by no means heard of a 50-year-old man who protection attorneys have instructed might have additionally been concerned within the case.

Bahena Rivera lawyer Chad Frese stated he wasn’t stunned by the denials and famous that Jones and Hansen have prison information involving different violent crimes.

“They are not going to face up and say they did it,” he stated.

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