The murder trial of Christopher Collings, which was scheduled to begin yesterday in Rolla, has been postponed. This marks the third time that Collings' trial date has been moved.
According to court officials, the trial has been rescheduled to begin on Wednesday, April 20. Phelps County Circuit Judge Mary Sheffield postponed the trial after the defense said it needed more time to respond to relatively new prosecution evidence.
Collings, 35, of Wheaton, and David Spears, 29, of Rocky Comfort, are accused of raping and murdering 9-year-old Rowan Ford back in November of 2007. Both men are charged with first degree murder, statutory rape and forcible rape.
Collings and Spears have been incarcerated since Nov. 9, 2007, one week after Ford was first reported missing and the day Ford's body was discovered in a sinkhole near Powell in McDonald County.
The rape and murder allegedly took place on the night of Nov. 2, 2007, in a trailer in Wheaton owned by Collings. Both Collings and Spears confessed to the crime.
Collings and Spears are being represented by the Missouri State Public Defenders Office. Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox will be assisted in the prosecution of the case by Elizabeth Bock, assistant attorney general for the state of Missouri.
Cox is seeking the death penalty against both Spears and Collings. Spears' trial is scheduled to be held in August in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Waynesville.