Judge Officially Approves Speedy Trial Waiver for Man Accused of Killing Mollie Tibbetts
POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa – During a hearing Friday morning, a judge officially approved a waiver of Cristhian Rivera’s right to a speedy trial.
Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. She disappeared while jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn on July 18, 2018 and her body was found just over a month later.
Investigators say Rivera, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, took them to Tibbetts’ body, which was hidden in a cornfield about 15 minutes from Brooklyn.
Defendants in Iowa are afforded the right to a trial within 90 days of their indictment unless they’ve waived that right and there is good cause shown as to why the trial should be delayed. Rivera originally filed a waiver of a speedy trial on June 26th.
Court filings show a large amount of evidence, witness testimony, and reports from expert witnesses have caused a delay in the proceedings.
A hearing on a motion to suppress Rivera’s alleged confession had originally been scheduled to be heard Friday morning in court, but it has been rescheduled to Oct. 22nd and 23rd.
Rivera’s trial date is November 12th, 2019. It is being held in Woodbury County due to pre-trial publicity.