Delay Sought for Suspect in Stepdaughter's Death
ROLLA (AP) - A southwest Missouri man accused of killing his 9-year-old stepdaughter is seeking a delay and a change of venue for his trial.
The Joplin Globe reports Friday that attorneys for 28-year-old David W. Spears contend pretrial publicity requires that jurors for Spears' trial be chosen from farther away than Pulaski County.
They cite a mistrial declared in April for Spears' co-defendant, 35-year-old Chris Collings. The mistrial occurred after not enough potential jurors could be found -- even though the proceeding was in Phelps County on a change of venue from Barry County.
The two men are accused of raping and murdering 9-year-old Rowan Ford in November 2007. They both face the death penalty. Their cases were moved to Pulaski and Phelps counties on an earlier change of venue.