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Sentencing the next step in Cristhian Bahena Rivera case: Here's what that entails

Bahena Rivera faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance at parole for Mollie Tibbetts' murder. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 15.

MONTEZUMA, Iowa — A Scott County jury convicted 26-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera of first-degree murder Friday in the death of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts

Bahena Rivera faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance at parole. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 15 at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma. 

Iowa abolished the death penalty in 1965, according to the Death Penalty Information Center

Before the sentencing hearing, a presentence investigation report needs to be completed by the Eighth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

That's according to the court order signed by District Court Judge Joel D. Yates

This report will then be filed with the clerk of court who will make the document available for both the defense and prosecutors to review at least three days before the sentencing hearing. 

RELATED: 'Justice was rightly served': Iowa reacts to guilty verdict in death of Mollie Tibbetts

According to Iowa Code, any information relevant to sentencing shall be made available by the State, defense and judicial district for the report. The court may consider information from other sources. 

There is also a possibility for victim impact statements, which are written or oral presentations to the court by the victim or victim's representative that details the physical, emotional, financial or other effects of the offense upon the victim. 

Victim impact statements are part of the presentence investigation, but it's not yet known if the statements will be read aloud in court or not on July 15.

The county attorney will also prepare a statement of pecuniary damages to victims, also known as restitution. This is another part of the presentence investigation. 

Iowa Code says restitution for first-degree murder is at least $150,000. 

According to the court order from Judge Yates, Bahena Rivera is ineligible for bond pending the sentencing hearing.

Bahena Rivera can also appeal the jury's verdict. 

"He does have the right to appeal, and as his attorney explained ... they do plan on appealing," said Emily Hughes, a University of Iowa law professor. "That's a very standard part of the process. It would be shocking if they did not appeal."

Watch more trial coverage on YouTube

RELATED: Here's who testified in the Cristhian Bahena Rivera murder trial

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