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Jury selection for the lengthy trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the undocumented immigrant charged with the 2018 murder of Mollie Tibbetts at the University of Iowa, has begun.
According to ABC subsidiary WOI-DT, jury selection in the murder trial against Mollie Tibbetts is expected to take two days and be completed on Wednesday.
Litigation is expected to open that day in Davenport, where the trial was postponed following the pre-trial publication of the case in Brooklyn, Iowa.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera Age
Rivera, 24, allegedly told police that she followed Tibbetts, 20, in her car as she was running on July 18. Then he got out of her and ran alongside her. She then claims that she passed out.
According to a criminal complaint, Rivera confessed to the police that she had fainted and that some time later she recalled that Tibbett’s body was in her car.
“Defendant Rivera said that she then panicked and became angry and then” blocked “his” memory of her “from her, which she does when she is very upset,” says the indictment in the case.
Rivera later told authorities that she dumped the girl’s body in a grain field and covered it with corn stalks. She later led investigators to the body of the 20-year-old after her confession.
An autopsy, which is expected to appear at the murder trial, revealed that Mollie Tibbetts was killed by “multiple wounds with acute violence.”
The Des Moines Register reported that Rivera has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.
Bahena Rivera, a Mexican immigrant who authorities said was illegal in the United States, worked at Yarrabee Farms in rural Poweshiek County for four years, the owners said in 2018.
The murder trial begins after the judge ruled that the cameras in the courtroom could record the trial and the outcome of the Mollie Tibbetts case.
According to The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Judge Joel Yates said in a ruling Monday that the public and the media will not be allowed to enter the courtroom when Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial begins next week.
He also recognized the “intense” public interest in the case as a reason to allow remote news cameras.
Various local media will broadcast it live on the Internet and on radio stations.
The court is also expected to make the case available to journalists remotely on a zoom broadcast.
Jury selection in the murder trial against Mollie Tibbetts is exempt from the live streaming rule.
While reporters and members of the public can participate in jury selection, according to regional court guidelines, they cannot be broadcast or broadcast.
The process could take between a week and 10 days, authorities said.
According to CBS affiliate KCCI, the murder trial comes after numerous delays caused by the pandemic and intense media scrutiny over the Mollie Tibbetts case.
The COVID-19 pandemic then put the process on another hiatus. In June 2020, attorneys for Rivera and the state filed a joint motion to further delay the trial that was originally scheduled for Sept. 29 in Woodbury County. However, the location was changed to the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport.