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Murder trial is delayed

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another delay has been announced in the Rowan Ford murder case.

As anticipated, the trial of David Spears has been postponed until October 2012 due to concerns over selecting a jury pool. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tracy Storie ruled last Wednesday that Spears' jury will be selected in Clay County near Kansas City and brought to Waynesville for the trial.

On-line court records indicate Spears' trial will begin on Oct. 30, 2012, with jury selection. Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Nov. 5, 2012, which will be almost five years after Spears was arrested for the kidnap, rape and murder of his 9-year-old stepdaughter, Rowan Ford, in November 2007.

This is the third time Spears' trial has been postponed. His most recent trial date was set for this coming August.

Spears and Christopher Collings are accused of sexually assaulting and raping Ford in Collings' trailer house in Wheaton and then murdering her. Ford's body was found in a sinkhole in McDonald County a week after her mother and Spears reported her missing. Both men have confessed to the crime.

The case has garnered intense media attention, and due to the publicity, a mistrial was declared in Collings' murder trial, which began in April in Phelps County in Rolla.

After three days of jury selection, Circuit Judge Mary Sheffield decided the pool of jurors was not large enough to select a jury and declared a mistrial.

Collings' trial was reset for February 2012. His jury will be selected from Platte County with the case to be tried in Rolla.

The case is being prosecuted by Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox and Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bock. Collings and Spears are being represented by the Missouri Public Defenders Office. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty against both men.

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