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Court Rejects Appeal For 9-Year-Old Rowan Ford's Killer

Christopher Collings was convicted of raping and killing 9-year-old Rowan Ford in 2007. Photo: Image by Barry County Sheriff's Office

Court Rejects Appeal For 9-Year-Old Rowan Ford's Killer

By Nancy Simpson. CREATED Aug 19, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence for a southwest Missouri man who admitted raping and killing a 9-year-old girl.  

The court on Tuesday rejected numerous arguments in Christopher Collings' appeal for the November 2007 death of Rowan Ford.
 
The girl was taken from her home in Stella and found a week later in a sinkhole in McDonald County. Her stepfather, David Spears, was also charged with murder and rape but pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child endangerment and hindering prosecution. Prosecutors said there was no physical evidence tying Spears to the killing.
 
Collings' lawyers argued among other things that the trial court should have excluded his confession. Collings had said he "freaked out" and strangled Rowan because she looked at him while being raped.

     

 

Nancy Simpson

Nancy Simpson

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With a passion for news, Nancy has worked at KTTS for 15 years. Awarded Best Newscast from Missouri Broadcasters Association and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting