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Defense looking for delay in Mollie Tibbetts murder trial

POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa (KTIV) – Attornies for the man charged in the death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts is asking for his trial in Woodbury County to be delayed.

Cristhian Rivera has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of the 20-year-old Tibbetts.

His trial is currently scheduled to begin November 12 in Woodbury County District Court. His trial was moved from Poweshiek County after the state and defense said a fair and impartial jury could not be reasonably found there.

According to court documents filed Wednesday in Poweshiek County, his attornies are asking for his trial to be delayed after the State disclosed findings from the State of Iowa criminalistics laboratory following its forensic examination of several pieces of evidence. His defense says this testing is critical to his defense, and they will need time to discuss the findings with experts. They claim the experts would not be able to offer an opinion on the evidence by the time the trial would start.

Rivera’s attornies have also filed a motion to suppress his police interrogation, claiming authorities didn’t Mirandize him at the beginning of an interview at the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 20, 2018.

Tibbetts went missing July 18, 2018, after going for a jog in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Her body was found on August 21, 2018, in a rural area outside Brooklyn.  Officials say she was stabbed to death.

Blake Branch

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