Trial for man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts moved to February

Cristhian Bahena Rivera (contributed)

Cristhian Bahena Rivera (contributed)

Kayli Reese, Managing News Editor

The trial date for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts last year, has been moved to Feb. 4 at the Woodbury County Courthouse.

The trial was set to begin Nov. 12 until the motion for a continuance was granted.

Rivera’s attorneys, Chad and Jennifer Frese, filed a motion Wednesday asking for the trial to be delayed in order for expert witnesses to have more time to review new evidence that had recently been tested. The state’s response on Thursday said that, while the state was prepared to start the trial Nov. 12,  “the state does not resist a continuance.”

This is the second time the trial has been delayed due to evidentiary findings. The original start date was Sept. 3, but the Freses asked for more time to review evidence that had not yet undergone forensic testing.

Bahena Rivera will still appear in court Oct. 22 and 23 in an evidence-suppression hearing that will determine whether authorities violated his rights during his arrest and questioning.