202

Iowa student death suspect wants trial moved for diversity

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2018 file photo, Cristhian Bahena Rivera wears headphones during his arraignment where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. The Des Moines Register reports that Rivera's lawyers filed a motion Friday, March 1, 2019, to have his trial moved to a more diverse county. They argue the Mexican national should be tried outside Poweshiek County to allow for more minority representation in the jury pool. (Kelsey Kremer/Des Moines Register via AP, Pool, File)

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — The former farmhand charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and stabbing death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa wants to have his trial moved to a more diverse county.

The Des Moines Register reports that 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s lawyers filed the motion Friday. They argue the Mexican national should be tried outside Poweshiek County to allow for more minority representation in the jury pool.

Rivera is accused of killing Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who disappeared while out for a run July 18 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators recovered her body a month later in a cornfield. A medical examiner has said Tibbetts was stabbed to death.

Rivera also is accused of being in the country illegally. He worked at a dairy farm a few miles from where Tibbetts disappeared.

___

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.