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Man charged with Mollie Tibbetts’ murder makes pretrial appearance in court


MONTEZUMA, Iowa (WHO13) -- The man accused of murdering Mollie Tibbetts made his first appearance in court in-person in more than a year Thursday morning for a pretrial conference.

Cristhian Rivera’s case has been delayed multiple times due to the pandemic and many legal proceedings over the last year have been through teleconference as a safety precaution against COVID-19.

During the pretrial conference Thursday morning at the Poweshiek County Courthouse, plans for the trial were outlined. The trial is set to begin at 8:00 a.m. on May 17th at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport.

Jury selection is expected to take two days with opening statements planned for 9:00 a.m., May 19th. Including jury selection, the proceedings are expected to last 10 days.

The trial was moved out of Poweshiek County because of pre-trial publicity.

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