Iowa Supreme Court Denies Stay & Won't Take Up Cristhian Rivera Case; New Trial Date Needed

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Cristhian Rivera (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court will not take up a request for discretionary review ahead of the murder trial of the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts and has also ruled to deny a stay in the case, according to an order filed Tuesday.

That means the murder trial of Cristhian Rivera, which had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, will need to be rescheduled.

Rivera’s attorneys had asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review whether portions of his alleged confession and other evidence would be allowed in the trial because he wasn’t properly Mirandized and a temporary stay was granted in the case on January 22nd while the court decided what to do.

With the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday denying the stay, a new date can be set for his trial.

Investigators say Rivera confessed to murdering the 20-year-old University of Iowa in July of 2018 after she disappeared while on a run around her hometown of Brooklyn. Rivera led authorities to Tibbetts’ body, which was concealed in a cornfield, just over a month after she disappeared.

Rivera’s trial has been moved to Woodbury County due to pre-trial publicity.

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