Suspect in Mollie Tibbetts murder asks for a trial delay

    Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, looks to his attorney Allan Richards as he makes his initial appearance on a charge of first-degree murder during at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Rivera is accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

    The man suspected of abducting and killing Mollie Tibbetts is asking for a trial delay.

    A motion filed on Tuesday by attorneys 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera asks for more time to finish discovery before the trial and for a new trial date to be set. They argue that they have not had a chance to review the latest version of the Iowa DCI's investigative file by the deadline to complete discovery and file pretrial motion, which was Jan. 15.

    The motion also says the state has offered no objection to the application for more time. His trial is currently scheduled to being April 16, but that will likely change if the state grants the application for more time.

    Tibbetts' July 18, 2018 disappearance set off a massive search involving state and federal authorities. She was found over a month later on Aug. 21 when Bahena Rivera led authorities to her body. Police say Bahena Rivera confessed to killing Tibbetts and dumping her body in a cornfield. Bahena Rivera told authorities he "blacked out" before realizing he had killed Tibbetts.

    Bahena Rivera has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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