Prosecutors agree with change of venue for Tibbetts murder trial

Published: Mar. 25, 2019 at 9:59 PM CDT
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Prosecutors in the Mollie Tibbetts murder trial agreed with the defense's motion for a change of venue, court filings showed.

Lawyers for Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who is facing first-degree murder charges,

. Under Iowa law, a change of venue is granted when there is substantial likelihood a fair and impartial jury cannot be selected due to a high degree of prejudice. This is usually due to widespread publicity, which this case received.

Prosecutors filed a response to the request, saying that they agreed that a fair and impartial jury could not be chosen in Poweshiek County. They acknowledged that residents would try to be fair-minded if asked to serve, but that the disappearance and death of Tibbetts had affected many in an emotional way.

A venue with a similar demographic makeup as Poweshiek County was suggested by prosecutors, with considerations for travel time for both sides of the case.