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LiteSpeed Technologies is not responsible for administration and contents of this web site! Capital Murder Trial Set for Justin James Rector in 2014 AZ Murder of 8-Year-Old Isabella Grogan-Cannella - Page 11
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Thread: Capital Murder Trial Set for Justin James Rector in 2014 AZ Murder of 8-Year-Old Isabella Grogan-Cannella

  1. #101
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Prosecutors accuse Rector attorney of delaying trial

    BY JIM SECKLER
    The Mohave Valley Daily News

    KINGMAN — The prosecutor in the Justin Rector murder case fired back Tuesday against claims that he has not disclosed information to the defense.

    Rector, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a dead body in the 2014 death of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella.

    Rector also is charged with three counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly assaulted a detention officer July 17, 2017, in his jail cell. He is being held without bond.

    Deputy Mohave County Attorney Greg McPhillips filed a response arguing that Rector’s attorney, Julia Cassels, of Phoenix, is delaying Rector’s trial. She is the fourth primary attorney to represent Rector in the 4-year-old case.

    McPhillips took the death penalty off the table in February, which allowed the primary attorney, Quinn Jolly, to withdraw from the case. Cassels, who had been second chair, was assigned to the case in July 2016. Rector has had about a half-dozen attorneys since his arrest.

    In his motion, McPhillips said he has released Rector’s cell phone records and the medical examiner’s report and cassettes on several occasions since 2014 to Cassels and prior attorneys. He also said Cassels has filed motions to delay the setting of witness interviews.

    “Years of delay have been enough,” McPhillips said.

    Rector’s next hearing before Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen is set for Sept. 7.

    Cassels recently filed a motion seeking the disclosure of more evidence, including items seized by the Bullhead City Police Department and FBI. She also wants any photographs and items taken from a dumpster at the T-Mobile store on Highway 95.

    Cassels also asked McPhillips to disclose information on the seizure of electronic devices in the investigation of drug cases against Grogan-Cannella’s parents, Tania Grogan and Ralph Folster III. She also countered McPhillips’ claim that she has not provided dates to set up interviews, providing him dates in August and September.

    http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/...4e8d4a2fd.html
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  2. #102
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Prosecutor says evidence given to Rector defense

    BY JIM SECKLER
    The Mohave Valley Daily News

    KINGMAN — The back and forth filing of motions and responses to motions continues in a 4-year Bullhead City murder case.

    Justin James Rector, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a dead body in the September 2014 death of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella. He is being held in the Mohave County Jail in Kingman without bond.

    Deputy Mohave County Attorney Greg McPhillips filed another response Friday to Rector’s attorney, Julia Cassels, who made a second motion to make available additional evidence in the case. The prosecutor said the motion for additional disclosure is frivolous and should be denied.

    Cassels, of Phoenix, filed a motion Aug. 9 seeking the disclosure of items seized by the Bullhead City Police Department and FBI. She also wants any photographs and items taken from a dumpster at a T-Mobile store on Highway 95.

    Cassels also asked McPhillips to disclose information from Rector’s cell phones used in the investigation of drug cases against Grogan-Canella’s parents.

    In his response, McPhillips said that numerous documents including FBI lab reports, DNA reports, autopsy evidence, soil samples collected by the FBI, and crime scene log of the burial site have been disclosed to the defense.

    Disclosure of photos from the T-Mobile store, including a photo of a garden tool, have been disclosed or will be disclosed to the defense. McPhillips said he has disclosed Rector’s cell phone records.

    McPhillips argued that many of the items have been disclosed long ago and that Cassels is trying to delay the trial.

    McPhillips took the death penalty off the table in February, allowing the primary attorney to withdraw from the case. Cassels, who was second chair in the capital murder case, was first assigned to the case in July 2016. Two qualified attorneys are required in a death penalty case.

    Rector’s next hearing before Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen is set for Sept. 7. No trial has been set.

    On the night of Sept. 2, 2014, Grogan-Cannella and her 10-year-old sister were left in Rector’s care when their parents went to a department store. When the parents returned, they called police after they discovered the girl missing from their Lakeside Drive home.

    Grogan-Cannella’s body was found in a shallow grave in a wash about a half-mile from her home. The cause of her death was determined to be asphyxiation by strangulation. Rector was arrested later that morning.

    Rector also is charged with three counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly assaulted a detention officer July 17, 2017, in his jail cell.

    http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/...7f050008c.html
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  3. #103
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    Judge approves $2,500 funding increase for Rector defense

    By Jim Seckler
    The Mohave Valley Daily News

    KINGMAN — A Superior Court judge granted a defense motion Tuesday for additional funding in a Bullhead City murder case.

    Justin James Rector, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a dead body for the Sept. 2, 2014, death of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella and leaving her body in a shallow grave near her Bullhead City home.

    Rector’s attorney, Julia Cassels, filed the motion Tuesday and Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen granted the motion for an additional $2,500.

    The additional funding is not included in the total cost for Rector’s defense, which in four years is $883,366. That total cost includes $611,994 for all of Rector’s defense attorneys and more than $270,621 for investigative services since the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    The investigative services include defense experts and non-legal services. The attorney costs include two death penalty-qualified attorneys when Rector faced the death penalty. The prosecutor took the death penalty off the table in February.

    Rector’s attorney fees during the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ended June 30, were $233,228 and the investigative services were $119,029.

    Cassels represents Rector in both of his criminal cases. Cassels, who was second chair when Rector faced the death penalty, was assigned to the case in July 2016.

    Rector’s next hearing before Jantzen has been set for Sept. 7. No trial date has been set. Rector is being held in county jail without bond.

    Rector is also charged in another case with three counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly assaulted a detention officer July 17, 2017, in his jail cell.

    http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/...eaecd8376.html


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  4. #104
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    Trial date set in 2014 killing of Bullhead City girl

    KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — A judge has set a trial date for a man charged with killing a Bullhead City girl four years ago.

    Justin James Rector is set to be tried on first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in late April.

    A Mohave County judge set the trial date Friday over the objection of Rector’s attorney.

    Authorities say 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella had been strangled in September 2014. Her partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave near her home.

    The prosecutor had urged the judge to schedule the trial to ensure the rights of the victims. He accused the defense attorney of being uncooperative in setting up interviews.

    Rector’s attorney denied the allegation.

    https://apnews.com/2b0c20b36d2c440e88cfd1c77fc564a8

  5. #105
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    Prosecutors Slam Delays in Bullhead City Girl Killing Case

    Mohave County prosecutors have expressed frustration over waiting years for a case involving a man accused in the killing of a Bullhead City, Arizona, child after years of delays and new defense attorneys.

    Mohave County Deputy Attorney Greg McPhillips said those delays need to stop, the Today's News-Herald newspaper reported.

    The trial of Justin James Rector is scheduled to begin next April after four years of delays. But Phoenix attorney Julia Cassels is still trying to gather expert witnesses to testify in Rector's defense.

    Cassels is the latest attorney to take on Rector's case, following the withdrawal of multiple defense attorneys' in 2016 and 2017.

    Rector is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the September 2014 death of Isabella Grogan-Cannella.

    Police have said she was strangled, and her partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave near her home.

    Rector was a guest in the home of Canella's mother and stepfather.

    "I was appointed to this case in July 2016," Cassels said. "In late February this year, I became the sole attorney in this case. I've absorbed the work of two attorneys, a paralegal and a mitigation specialist. When this was a death penalty case, there were five people working on it . now there are only two."

    Previous death penalty cases have cost Mohave County millions of dollars to pursue, and the cost of attempting such a case against Rector was cited among the reasons prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty in February.

    "None of the delay is Justin's fault," Cassels said.

    There have been 15 status conferences in the case since Rector's initial October 2016 trial date, and McPhillips on Thursday submitted a motion for Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen to deny any further delays.

    "The defense's refusal to set interviews is not a justification to continue (Rector's) trial date," McPhillips wrote. "The defense has not disclosed to the state names or addresses of witnesses the defense intends to call at trial."

    McPhillips has said Rector's defense has yet to disclose any of its expert witnesses to prosecutors, and asserted that there will be none at all.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...l-killing-case
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  6. #106
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Suspect in Bullhead City girl’s death seeks to be own lawyer

    By Associated Press
    KTAR.com

    BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) – A man charged in the killing of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl is asking to represent himself in court, a surprise move in a case that has been delayed for years with defense attorney turnover and other issues.

    Justin James Rector told a Mohave County Superior Court judge on Tuesday that he wants to be his own attorney at his upcoming murder trial. The judge cautioned him against it.

    “You have the right under the Constitution to represent yourself and there are many reasons you shouldn’t represent yourself in a complicated case,” Judge Lee Jantzen said.

    Rector, 30, faces first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the 2014 death of Isabella Grogan-Cannella. He also is charged with assaulting a detention officer in July 2017 in his jail cell.

    His attorney, Julia Cassels, said she wants outside counsel to discuss with Rector the drawbacks of self-representation. She also thinks Rector might need a mental health evaluation. However, he was examined by two different mental health experts when the death penalty was a possible sentence. But prosecutors dropped it in February. The two experts have not yet shared their reports.

    Deputy Mohave County Attorney Greg McPhillips said he will not delay Rector’s scheduled April 29 trial even if the defendant is his own attorney. “One thing I’d remind Mr. Rector is the victim has a right to speedy trial,” McPhillips said.

    The judge gave Rector a waiver form to consider but advised him not to sign it until he returns to court on Dec. 18.

    Rector was a guest in the home of the victim’s mother and stepfather in September 2014 when the girl went missing. Her partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave near the home. Police said she had been strangled.

    http://ktar.com/story/2341988/suspec...be-own-lawyer/
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  7. #107
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Arizona man pleads guilty in 2014 killing of 8-year-old girl from Bullhead City

    Associated Press
    AZCentral.com

    A man charged in the killing of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl four years ago pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder, days after he made a surprising decision to represent himself in the case.

    Justin James Rector entered the plea in Mohave County Superior Court. He will be sentenced to life in prison with a possibility of parole after 35 years, according to the plea agreement. A judge has the final say at a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 30.

    Rector also was charged with kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella, and assaulting a jail officer in 2017. Those charges were dropped as part of the agreement.

    The plea came as a relief to Isabella's maternal grandmother, Toni Page, who once had custody of the girl and who said she was frustrated at times waiting for justice.

    "Thank goodness it's over now," she told The Associated Press. "Nobody deserves to have their children or grandchildren lost at such a young age."

    Bullhead City police Chief Brian Williamson said Isabella's death deeply affected the community on the Arizona-Nevada border.

    "We are glad that not only her family has some closure but our whole community as well," Williamson said.

    The case came to an abrupt end after years of delays as Rector's legal team changed and prosecutors decided against seeking the death penalty, partly because the cost to defend Rector had risen to nearly $1 million.

    Rector's latest attorney, Julia Cassels, withdrew Tuesday morning. Another attorney who was advising Rector solely on representing himself became his adviser on the plea agreement minutes before Rector acknowledged responsibility for Isabella's death.

    That attorney, Ron Gilleo, said Rector wanted to "get it over with" and did not speak at length in court.

    Rector, 30, was a guest in the home of Isabella's mother and stepfather on Sept. 2, 2014 when she was reporting missing.

    He told police he smoked methamphetamine throughout the day in the Bullhead City home. Isabella's other grandmother was babysitting while the girl's mother was at the store, authorities have said.

    Her disappearance turned more tragic when her partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave the next day. A police detective testified in a 2016 court hearing that authorities had evidence she was sexually assaulted.

    A medical examiner said the girl known at school as friendly, loving, obedient, beautiful and inquisitive had been strangled.

    Rector's plea means he will avoid a trial that had been scheduled to begin in April.
    Cassels and prosecutor Greg McPhillips did not return phone and email messages seeking comment.

    Page said she often visits a rock garden that honors Isabella at a local park, and cleans the area where the girl's body was found, maintaining a cross and leaving items such as candy at Halloween and a stocking at Christmas.

    "She was full of life and she was just beginning to start her life when this happened," Page said.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news...ty/2361038002/
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  8. #108
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    Edited:

    County's cost in Rector, Ketchner defenses up to $2.5 million


    BY JIM SECKLER
    The Mohave Valley Daily News

    KINGMAN — The cost to try two murder cases in Mohave County in the past 10 years is about $2.5 million.

    Prosecutors in both Justin James Rector’s and Darrell Bryant Ketchner’s murder cases withdrew the death penalty in February. There are no other death penalty cases in the county.

    Rector, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the Sept. 2, 2014 killing of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella. Six other charges in two cases were dismissed. His attorney also withdrew from the case.

    Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen will sentence Rector Jan. 30 to life in prison without parole for at least 35 years.

    The updated total cost for Rector’s defense in the murder case is $899,395. The total cost includes $626,628 for all of Rector’s defense attorneys and more than $272,016 for investigative services since the 2014-15 fiscal year, Mohave County Indigent Defense Services Director Blake Schritter said.

    According to Mohave County Chief Deputy Attorney James Schoppmann, the prosecution bore no added costs during the lengthy process, although it did take manpower away from other cases.

    “Essentially no additional costs (were assessed) to the county as it was part of the job and salary,” Schoppmann said. “However, we did have overwhelming support from the FBI and other outside agencies who did not charge us. We cannot stress enough the support from the FBI.”

    http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/...cc5b44ba4.html
    Last edited by Helen; 12-20-2018 at 09:58 AM. Reason: edited out info not relevant
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