Jurors Prepare to Deliberate Fate of SW Mo. Man
ROLLA (AP) - Both sides have finished with the testimony in the penalty phase of the trial for a southwest Missouri man convicted of raping and killing his friend's 9-year-old stepdaughter.
Platte County jurors meeting in Rolla will decide whether to recommend a sentence of death or life imprisonment for 37-year-old Wheaton resident Christopher Collings.
Collings was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the 2007 death of 9-year-old Rowan Ford, of Stella. Her stepfather, David Spears, is awaiting trial.
Child development specialist Wanda Draper was the final defense witness Friday. She talked about how Collings was neglected and sexually abused as a child. She said that contributed to an attachment disorder, and she pointed to state welfare records that showed his adoptive parents struggled with him.