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Accused murderer's confession under fire

Friday, April 16, 2010

Defense attorneys for David Spears, the Stella man accused of raping and killing his 9-year-old stepdaughter, Rowan Ford, are trying to get Spears' taped confession proved inadmissable before the case goes to trial in July,

Since Wednesday, attorneys for both the defense and prosecution have been presenting their arguments before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tracy Storie.

Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox said the attempt to get a confession thrown out is part of the usual defense tactics. Cox has told reporters that he has enough evidence to move forward with the penalty case no matter what the judge decides to do with Spears' confession.

Defense attorneys are arguing that Spears confession was obtained in violation of his constitutional rights. They say the confession, which was given by Spears to a Newton County Sheriff's deputy in November 2007, was taken without Spears being read his Miranda rights.

In his confession, Spears admits that he and his friend, Christopher Collings, who also faces first degree murder charges, had intercourse with Rowan Ford in Collings' Wheaton trailer. Spears also told the deputy he is the one who strangled his stepdaughter with a white cord.

Collings, who will go to trail in January 2011, has also admitted to killing Ford in his confession, which was given to a Wheaton police officer.

The two men have been behind bars since their arrests on Nov. 9, 2007. The crime occurred on Nov. 2, 2007, at Collings' trailer in Wheaton. Ford's body was discovered in a sinkhole near Powell after southwest Missouri law enforcement officials spent a week searching for the missing girl.

Collings and Spears are being represented by attorneys with the Missouri State Public Defenders Office.



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