MONTEZUMA, Iowa (CBSNewYork/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.
The family of Mollie Tibbets released a statement on Wednesday:
Our hearts are broken.
On behalf of Mollie’s entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl. We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever.
At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private.
Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name. We remain forever grateful.
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.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)