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
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.