MONTEZUMA, Iowa. (KCRG) - A judge has rejected a lawyer's request that the public be barred from an initial hearing for a man charged with killing an Iowa college student.
Allan M. Richards argued in a motion filed Wednesday that his client's right to a fair trial would be hurt by media coverage if reporters were allowed to remain in the courtroom. He says that comments by senior government officials, including President Donald Trump, have presumed his client is guilty and media coverage is highlighting those comments.
Richards represents Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts. Her body was found Tuesday near the central Iowa community of Brooklyn.
Magistrate Judge Diane Crookham-Johnson rejected Richards' motion. She noted that nothing discussed at Wednesday's hearing would harm Rivera's case.