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Judge denies new trial request in Mollie Tibbetts case

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 18:19:59-04

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has denied a convicted man’s request for a new trial in the 2018 killing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

Judge Joel Yates issued his ruling Monday, clearing the way for sentencing to proceed Aug. 30 in the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera.

The farmhand who came to the U.S. illegally as a teenager was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the killing of Tibbetts, who disappeared while out for a run near her Iowa hometown.

Bahena Rivera was to be sentenced to life in prison last month, but Yates postponed sentencing to allow defense attorneys to present a new theory about who killed Tibbetts based on information two witnesses gave police.

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