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Lawyer for Cristhian Rivera removes post calling former client a 'terrible criminal'

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, responds to a question from magistrate judge Diane Crooklyn-Johnson as he makes his initial appearance on a charge of first-degree murder during at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Rivera is accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

A lawyer representing a high-profile Iowa murder suspect has removed a Facebook post in which he attacked another one of his clients as an "idiot" and "terrible criminal" who deserved to be jailed.

Attorney Chad Frese said Friday that his post was being misinterpreted but that he doesn't believe it violated ethical rules.

Frese and his wife are representing Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who's charged with killing 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.

In the post, Frese recounted meeting with a different defendant to prepare for a trial involving federal gun and drug charges. He wrote that he was "flabbergasted" when the man suggested Frese would have a hard time connecting with blue-collar jurors.

Frese says he called the man a "terrible criminal" who "needed to shut his mouth because he was the dumbest person in the conversation by 100 times." He added, "you wonder why we need jails huh?"

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