Judge approves broadcast, limits attendance at Iowa murder trial in college student’s death

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP/WHO-TV) — The public will be able to watch the trial of the man charged with killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts — but not in person.

Citing COVID-19 protocols, Judge Joel Yates said in an order dated Monday that members of the public and news media will not be allowed to attend the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera that starts next week.

But he said news outlets can operate remote-controlled video cameras to broadcast the proceedings live on the internet or television.

Rivera is expected to stand trial beginning Monday in Davenport for first-degree murder in the death of Tibbetts, 20, who disappeared in July 2018 while out for a run in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa.

Her body was found around a month later in a cornfield near Guernsey after investigators said Rivera led them to it.

The trial is being held in Davenport because of pre-trial publicity. Jury selection is expected to take two days.

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