Public Safety

Trial in Mollie Tibbetts killing now pushed to February

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, is escorted out of the courtroom after pleading not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma. (Pool photo, Kelsey/Kremer, The Gazette)
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, is escorted out of the courtroom after pleading not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma. (Pool photo, Kelsey/Kremer, The Gazette)

MONTEZUMA — 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 been delayed again.

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 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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