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Trial for murder of Mollie Tibbetts is moved

Defendant wins a change of venue.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 4:50 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2019 4:52 PM

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — A former farmhand charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and killing of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts will have his trial moved about 250 miles away to Woodbury County.

The Des Moines Register reports that a judge on Wednesday approved a motion filed earlier this month to have Cristhian Bahena Rivera's first-degree murder trial moved out of Poweshiek County. Rivera's trial is now set to be held in Sioux City on Sept. 3. His attorneys had argued the trial should be moved to allow for more minority representation in the jury pool.

Rivera is accused of killing Tibbetts, who disappeared while out for a run July 18 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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