Prosecutor says video, DNA will be key at Iowa slaying trial

Local News

The murder trial for Cristhian Rivera begins on May 19, 2021 in the death of Mollie Tibbetts. (WHO 13)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor says video, DNA analysis and a partial confession will be critical to proving a farm laborer stabbed a University of Iowa student to death while she was out for a run in 2018.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts’ death. Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver told jurors in his opening statement Wednesday that a homeowner’s surveillance video shows Bahena Rivera’s black Chevy Malibu apparently circling Tibbets on July 18, 2018, in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa.

He says blood found in the trunk of that vehicle matches Tibbetts’ DNA.

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