MONTEZUMA — The trial for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, accused of fatally stabbing Mollie Tibbetts last July, was reset Friday to Nov. 12 in Woodbury County District Court, after his lawyers said more time was needed to prepare.
Eighth Judicial District Judge Joel Yates also reset a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence in the trial to Aug. 23 in Poweshiek County District Court in Montezuma.
Bahena Rivera’s lawyers, in a motion filed earlier this week, said additional time was needed to consult an expert witness and review new evidence.
Results of a May 9 search warrant to review Bahena Rivera’s internet activity and “any location information” between July 18 and 23, 2018, haven’t been received by the defense, said Jennifer Freese, Bahena Rivera’s lawyer.
Freese said her client will waive his right to a speedy trial, though the waiver wasn’t filed Friday.
Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver, in a response, said he had no problem with the delay so long as Bahena Rivera waives his speedy trial right as soon as possible.
He also requested the court ask Bahena Rivera, in person, to confirm the written waiver.
Bahena Rivera, 24, is charged with first-degree murder. The trial was moved out of Poweshiek County because of extensive pretrial publicity.
Bahena Rivera was arrested after he led police to a cornfield south of Guernsey where Tibbetts’ body was hidden for about a month after the 20-year-old went missing while jogging near her home in Brooklyn, Iowa.
An autopsy showed Tibbetts died of multiple stab wounds.
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