Trial in Mollie Tibbets killing now pushed to February

Cristhian B. Rivera

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — The trial for a former farmhand charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and killing of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts has again been delayed.

The Daily Iowan reports that 25-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera will now face trial beginning Feb. 4 in Woodbury County. His trial had been set for Nov. 12, but was pushed back to give expert witnesses more time to review new evidence.

Rivera’s attorneys are asking for three witnesses, including an expert in sleep deprivation to discuss its role in interrogation techniques. Another witness will talk about the DNA evidence tested in the case.

Rivera is accused of killing Tibbetts, who disappeared while out for a run July 18, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators recovered her body a month later in a cornfield. Officials say she was stabbed to death.

Rivera, a Mexican national, also is accused of being in the country illegally. He worked at a dairy farm a few miles from where Tibbetts disappeared.

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