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Mollie Tibbetts case: Rivera pleads not guilty to first-degree murder

Cristhian Bahena Rivera speaks with his attorney during his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)

The farmhand charged in the abduction and stabbing death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Posted: Sep 19, 2018 9:56 AM
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 9:59 AM

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — The farmhand charged in the abduction and stabbing death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera entered his plea Wednesday at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa.

More on the Mollie Tibbetts case

Illegal immigrant charged with murder in Tibbetts case

Timeline: The disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts

Reaction to arrest in the case

Rivera is charged in the killing of Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who disappeared while out for a run July 18 in Brooklyn, Iowa.

Investigators recovered her body a month later in a cornfield. A medical examiner has said Tibbetts was stabbed to death.

Rivera is a Mexican national who has been accused of being in the country illegally. The 24-year-old worked at a dairy farm a few miles from where Tibbetts disappeared.

He waived his right to be tried within 90 days. Trial is set for April 16.

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