Trial for man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts moved to Sioux City

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (KCRG) - The man accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts will face trial in Woodbury County.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera walks into Poweshiek County Court on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (KCCI-TV)

Court documents show that attorneys for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, requested that his trial be moved from Poweshiek County. A district court judge ruled the first-degree murder trial would be moved from Poweshiek County to Woodbury County in northwest Iowa.

Rivera is accused of killing 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts who disappeared from a home in Brooklyn the night of July 18, 2018. For more than a month, investigators searched for Mollie in a case that gained national attention. Her body was found in rural Poweshiek County farm field on August 21, 2018.

Investigators said Rivera attacked Mollie while she was out for a jog the night she disappeared. Rivera told investigators he followed Mollie in his car while she jogging. He said he then "panicked and got mad" when Mollie threatened to call the police, he then claims he blacked out and doesn't recall what happened after that.

A criminal complaint said that Rivera led investigators to her body when he was questioned in the case.

The trial is scheduled to start on September 3. If convicted, Rivera faces life in prison.

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