Man Appeals Death Sentence in SW Mo. Girl's Death
JOPLIN (AP) - A man convicted of raping and murdering a 9-year-old southwest Missouri girl is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to reduce his death penalty sentence to life without parole.
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on 38-year-old Christopher Collings' appeal of his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence in the 2007 slaying of 9-year-old Rowan Ford. She was raped and killed after being taken from her home in Stella.
The Joplin Globe reports Collings' attorney argued that that videotaped confessions Collings made to investigators should have been suppressed. They also contend Collings did not plan the girl's death, a condition required for imposition of the death penalty.
Prosecutors contend Collings was read his rights before he confessed and evidence showed he planned to rape and kill Rowena.