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Convicted murderer Reinaldo Rivera files appeal in U.S. District Court in Augusta

Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 6:02 PM
Last updated Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:19 AM
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Convicted serial killer and death row inmate Reinaldo Rivera has begun his last round of appeals.

Convicted serial killer and death row inmate Reinaldo Rivera has begun his last round of appeals.  FILE
FILE
Convicted serial killer and death row inmate Reinaldo Rivera has begun his last round of appeals.


On Tuesday, Rivera filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in U.S. District Court in Augusta. The action orders that he be taken before a court and places the burden of proof on those detaining him to justify the detention.

Rivera has exhausted the appellate process in Georgia’s courts since a Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted him of murder and other charges and voted in favor of death as punishment for the brutal slaying of 21-year-old Army Sgt. Marni Glista.

Rivera stood trial only for Glista’s Sept. 9, 2000, killing, but he confessed to and was charged in the slayings of three other young women.

Rivera’s fifth intended homicide victim, an 18-year-old Augusta woman, survived being raped, sodomized, strangled and stabbed in the neck three times. Her clues and description led Richmond County sheriff’s investigators to Rivera.

They found him Oct. 12, 2000, in a Clearwater hotel. He had attempted suicide by downing a bottle of Tylenol and slashing his wrists and was taken to a hospital, where he later confessed.

That confession, according to Rivera’s habeas petition, was illegally obtained and should not have been allowed as evidence.

Nearly four years after Rivera was convicted and sentenced to death, a tape-recorded interview of him was found in an apartment where homicide investigator Richard Roundtree – now Richmond County’s sheriff – had lived. It hadn’t been entered as evidence and wasn’t shared with the defense attorneys.

“(Defense attorney Peter Johnson) brought me a copy of the tape,” said Jacque Hawk, who was Johnson’s co-counsel for Rivera. “After listening to it, I called him and told him to come get this thing out of here. I thought we would be trying it (the case) again.”

Hawk said it was obvious on the tape that Rivera was incoherent.

Other tape recordings of Rivera’s statements included the Miranda warning.

The petition filed this week attacks the defense work on the case from every angle, including Rivera’s attempts to fire Johnson and Hawk in the middle of his trial and voicing repeated demands for a death sentence.

“We were fighting him, the judge and the DA,” Hawk said. “We were surrounded by the enemy and we even had one in our camp.”

To investigators and the jury, Rivera said he lured Melissa Dingess, Tiffaney Wilson, Tabitha Bosdell and Glista into believing the same lie he gave his last intended victim – a promise of modeling. He said he raped them because he was incapable of overcoming a sex addiction.

Rivera became enraged during his trial when then-District Attorney Daniel Craig said in closing arguments that Rivera wasn’t a kindly sex addict but a sadistic rapist who stalked and savagely attacked vulnerable victims.

Rivera had crossed the path of some of his victims when they needed help. Dingess, 17, was at a pay phone to call her mother for a ride the day she disappeared: July 17, 1999. When Wilson’s husband found her car the day after she disappeared from a North Augusta grocery store parking lot on Dec. 4, 1999, it wouldn’t start. Bosdell, 17, was walking to work and would have had to cross one of the most dangerous intersections in Augusta on June 29, 2000, Craig said.

Glista didn’t invite Rivera to her home on Labor Day 2000; Rivera followed her. When she rushed inside to use the restroom before unloading groceries from her car, Rivera slipped into her Oakridge Drive house, Craig said.

Rivera’s federal petition also accuses the prosecution of introducing evidence that led the jury to false impressions.

Attorneys for the Georgia attorney general’s office filed a motion seeking the dismissal of Rivera’s federal petition, arguing Rivera missed the one-year deadline to file after his state appellate process was finished.

Comments (23) Add comment
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Little Lamb
46857
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Little Lamb 09/13/13 - 11:30 pm
6
2
Move On

Isn't that what the liberals said about the Bill Clinton affair?

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 09/14/13 - 05:27 am
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0
If he missed the deadline;

Deny the hearing and put this misrable piece of scum out of societies misery immediately!! If not, then have the hearing; which he will lose and then do the execution 3 days after he loses the appeal!! More than anything, I can't stand seeing these guys sit on death row for 15 years!! This guy doesn't have a single shred of decency, murdering numerous women and now wasting taxpayers money, when he knows he is guilty!! Destroy this piece of garbage as soon as possible!!

Riverman1
86788
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Riverman1 09/14/13 - 07:22 am
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0
It sounds like he's scared to

It sounds like he's scared to die now. Good, it will make his death sentence even better.

KSL
134138
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KSL 09/14/13 - 08:03 am
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1
He should have been put down

He should have been put down already!

Dixieman
15894
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Dixieman 09/14/13 - 08:14 am
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Farce

Death penalty opponent lawyers will delay, and drag this out, and file petitions at the very last minute, and then whine that it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone after such long delays (cause by them, but never mind). Seriously, they do this. Time to put a stop to it. Execute him. Then lock up the lawyers....

historylover
10985
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historylover 09/14/13 - 08:33 am
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5
Oh Little Lamb

You just can't stand it when no one is arguing can you? What in the hey day does Bill Clinton have to do with this terrible man? Come on!!!

JRC2024
9265
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JRC2024 09/14/13 - 09:04 am
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I bet you would not see the

I bet you would not see the appeals if the lawyers were not paid. Carry out the sentence.

my.voice
4914
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my.voice 09/14/13 - 09:07 am
7
0
There are not very many cut

There are not very many cut and dry cases, but this one is. Put a needle in the cowards arm and be done with it. The people of the state of Georgia need to take a stand on death penalty reform. The new law should read "IF YOU KILL US, WE WILL KILL YOU BACK" This is borrowed language but applicable.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 09/14/13 - 10:02 am
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Agreed!!

"It sounds like he's scared to die now. Good, it will make his death sentence even better."

I agree; but this sorry piece of scum certainly wasn't afraid to brutally murder innocent women and I'm sure THEY were afraid while being raped and killed!! There isn't enough words to describe my disdain for this THING, people like him AND those who don't want to see him killed!! Thank GOD; they will be destroyed for EVER, never to exist with us again, in the pure peaceful society!!

Just like Ted Bundy when he wet his pants before being taken to his execution!! These low lifes are COWARDS, preying on weaker people and using the element of surprise to attack them!! But when it's time to face THEIR punishment; they show themselves the TRUE cowards they are!! They don't want to face the same judgement THEY issue to many people, mostly beautiful innocent women who had fulfilling lives in front of them.

I honestly can't say what I would like to see happen to him; it would be pulled and I would be banned from posting comments!!

rebellious
21293
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rebellious 09/14/13 - 10:19 am
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Roundtree's Legacy

Continues! This guy had a substation at his apartment. And a taped confession from one of the area's most vicious murderers. The Peter Principle illustrated.

Riverman1
86788
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Riverman1 09/14/13 - 10:43 am
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Dixieman said, "Then lock up

Dixieman said, "Then lock up the lawyers...."

All of them? :)

Darby
26871
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Darby 09/14/13 - 11:20 am
7
0
No, not all of them.. Just the criminal defense

slime-balls who gleefully overturn every rock and cow pie on the planet, looking for some obscure loophole that will put the worst of the worst back on the street.

Back where they are free to rape, maim, torture and kill again.

Scum is not a word to be reserved for criminals such as Rivera. The perp's attorneys are more often than not deserving of the same title.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 09/14/13 - 11:22 am
0
0
Release the
Unpublished

piece of s--t to his lowyers and make them house and babysit him until the appeals process is over. They deserve each other.

Common.sense
465
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Common.sense 09/14/13 - 11:46 am
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He confessed to the location

He confessed to the location of Tabatha Bosdell's remains and heinous acts he committed against her. I don't care how coherent he was. The killer is the only person who would know that information.

When this final round of appeals is up I hope they execute him immediately.

Fiat_Lux
15897
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Fiat_Lux 09/14/13 - 12:02 pm
6
0
The thing I hate most

is what garbage like Rivera elicits from within me.

As far as I'm concerned, he is in the hands of his Maker now, even if that meeting still is off in the future somewhere. I can't spare another thought for such a foul creature, and, happily, it's not anything I have been given any part in addressing.

If any of these young women had been one I helped bring to life, I can't imagine how he or I would have survived among the living for so long.

KSL
134138
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KSL 09/14/13 - 02:28 pm
5
1
I have a friend whose young

I have a friend whose young daughter was approached by him. Scarry, huh. That was when he walked among us.

For my sociology major, decades ago, I took criminology. Swift and certain punishment was advocated. There is nothing swift nor certain about the death penalty any more.

KSL
134138
Points
KSL 09/14/13 - 02:37 pm
4
1
Yep JRC

The defense lawyers, paid by taxpayers, should have to do it out of the goodness in their hearts.

KSL
134138
Points
KSL 09/14/13 - 04:06 pm
4
1
Thumbs down person, are you

Thumbs down person, are you the same one who thumbs down CG? You do know you are giving us points? I doubt you do.

KSL
134138
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KSL 09/14/13 - 04:05 pm
4
1
Does your thumbs down mean

Does your thumbs down mean you are a supporter of this serial killer?

LillyfromtheMills
13887
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LillyfromtheMills 09/14/13 - 06:36 pm
4
1
He said he did it

Please God, don't let someone like him ever cross our paths. The little Army girl knew she was in no danger, safe in her surroundings. There are predators among us. And why didn't Grateful Mother turn over these tapes, etc

KSL
134138
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KSL 09/14/13 - 07:56 pm
3
1
Good question!

Good question!

Pops
10321
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Pops 09/14/13 - 08:00 pm
4
1
That's because

Grateful Mother is an incompetent, AA advanced, lazy, arrogant you know what........

Darby
26871
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Darby 09/14/13 - 10:57 pm
4
0
"When this final round of appeals is up I hope

they execute him immediately."

Okay, but maybe someone or something can make it take a little longer than usual.

KSL
134138
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KSL 09/14/13 - 11:35 pm
3
1
Slow and painfull. At this

Slow and painfull. At this point swift and certain is out the window.

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