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Trial delayed in the murder of Mollie Tibbetts

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:29 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts will now wait until 2021 to face trial due to concerns and issues arising from COVID-19.

A judge agreed to delay the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera until January 25, 2021. The judge also moved the location for the trial to Scott County.

In June, Bahena Rivera's attorneys and the state filed a joint motion to further delay the trial, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 29 in Woodbury County.

Court documents list concerns around COVID-19 as the reasons for the trial to be delayed. The document also sites difficulty with social distancing during the trial and the “expected glut of cases” in Woodbury County following the pandemic.

Rivera is accused of kidnapping and killing 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts as she was out for a jog near her home in Brooklyn in July 2018. Investigators say Rivera led them to find her body in a cornfield a month later.

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