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Judge Grants Hearing Delay for Accused Murderer of Mollie Tibbetts

Cristhian Rivera (WHO-HD)

POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa – A judge has granted a motion to delay a hearing on whether the alleged confession of the man investigators say killed Mollie Tibbetts will be allowed as evidence during his murder trial.

District Court Judge Joel D. Yates issued an order Wednesday after the attorney for Cristhian Rivera filed a motion asking for the delay because more time is needed to prepare and review a new report from an expert witness. The attorney also cited the complexity of the case as a reason the continuance should be granted.

Court records show Judge Yates has moved the hearing on Rivera’s motion to suppress. It will now be a two-day hearing held on Oct. 22nd and 23rd.

The judge also says the hearing originally scheduled for August 23rd will still be held but the focus will be on “the Defendant’s right to have his trial within one year.”

Rivera, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tibbetts. The 20-year-old University of Iowa student was jogging on July 18th, 2018 when she disappeared. Her remains were located just over a month later, concealed in a cornfield about 15 minutes from her hometown of Brooklyn.

Investigators say Rivera led them to Tibbetts’ body.

Rivera’s trial is currently scheduled for November 12th, 2019 in Woodbury County. It was moved out of Poweshiek County because of pre-trial publicity.

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