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ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

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default ROWAN FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Logos on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:11 am

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:59 pm Post subject: Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

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ROWAN FORD



KCTV5.com

Mother Of Missing Girl: 'Never, Ever Leave Your Kids Alone'

STELLA, Mo. -- Searchers continued to comb the rugged Ozarks countryside Wednesday for a 9-year-old girl last seen in her bed Friday night, while the girl's distraught mother warned other parents to keep tabs on their children.

Rowan Ford was reported missing Saturday after her mother, Colleen Spears, returned home from a night shift at a Wal-Mart in a nearby town and found the girl gone. Rowan's stepfather, David Spears, told investigators he last saw the girl asleep in her room around 10:45 p.m. Friday before he left her alone and went out with friends.

Continues:

http://www.kctv5.com/news/14511488/detail.html
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merlynsam
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Joined: 01 Oct 2007
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Location: Cheshire, UK
Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:39 am Post subject:

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ROWAN DAMIA FORD



Case Type: Lost, Injured, Missing
DOB: Apr 11, 1998
Missing Date: Nov 2, 2007
Age Now: 9 Height: 3'11" (119 cm)
Missing City: STELLA
Missing State : MO
Missing Country: United States
Case Number: NCMC1083099

Sex: Female
Race: White
Weight: 62 lbs (28 kg)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown

Circumstances:
Rowan was last seen at home on November 2, 2007 at 10:45 pm. She was discovered missing the next morning.

http://tinyurl.com/2bdb4g
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merlynsam
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Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:48 am Post subject:

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The Joplin Globe

November 06, 2007 10:48 pm

More than 200 attend vigil for missing girl

Bundled in winter coats and gloves, more than 200 supporters carried candles up and down Stella’s hilly streets Tuesday night, singing hymns and praying for 9-year-old Rowan Ford, who was been missing since late Friday or early Saturday.

“This town needs that little girl back,” said Neosho resident Connie Moser, the vigil’s organizer. “She could be cold and hungry. We all need to pray for her.”

Rowan, a Triway Elementary School fourth-grader who was last seen at her home at 10:45 p.m. Friday, was reported missing at 6:50 p.m. Saturday by her mother, Colleen Spears.

Flanked by two friends and clutching a fuzzy, brown teddy bear, Spears sobbed as she climbed the hill toward her house at 777 Grove St.

Candles carried by friends, residents and Rowan’s classmates lit up the night behind Spears. Many attendees pushed baby strollers up the rocky drive. Two supporters were in wheelchairs.

The procession started at Stella Baptist Church, which Rowan attended, and ended at her home, where her blue Blossom Quest bicycle waits in the yard.

{article continues}

http://tinyurl.com/38gp5w
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merlynsam
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Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:53 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Joplin Globe

November 07, 2007 10:05 pm

By Derek Spellman

Search for missing Stella girl continues

Colleen Spears still keeps a vigil for her daughter from the top of the slope that leads to their Stella home.

As the search for her missing daughter reached its fifth day, Spears again spent part of Wednesday sitting in the front yard of their home and hugging a large, stuffed teddy bear to her chest.

“Right now, I am pretending this bear is a baby,” she said. “A mom cannot be upset holding a baby. I just wish it was my baby I was holding.”

Spears said she has not abandoned hope that her daughter, Rowan Ford, 9, will be found unharmed. The girl has been missing since late Friday or early Saturday.

But she acknowledged that it is getting harder to preserve that faith.

{article continues}

http://tinyurl.com/2a23pf
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pam supportfromireland
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Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 8476
Location: Ireland
Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:19 pm Post subject:

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Case closed on Friday 9th November 2007

Despite lots of hope, searches and prayers, sadly Rowan was found dead yesterday 10 miles from where she disappeared. I'm sure you'll join me in wishing the best for Rowan's loved ones.

Rowan RIP little one.

http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=Rowan



kctv5

UPDATED: 3:31 pm CST November 9, 2007

Missing Girl Found Dead In Cave

http://www.kctv5.com/news/14511488/detail.html
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pam supportfromireland
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Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:26 pm Post subject:

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Warning: This article you may find distressing,please take note, when you decide to read what follows.

News Day.com

1:57 AM EST, November 10, 2007

By MARCUS KABEL | Associated Press Writer

2 Men Arrested in Missouri Girl's Death

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/sns-ap-missing-girl,0,3253214.story
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Vovvan
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Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 1066
Location: Sweden
Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:28 pm Post subject:

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Rest in peace angel Rowan xxx
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hope4maddy
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Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 1361
Location: United States
Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:36 pm Post subject:

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OMG! I just found out the outcome! This poor dear child. Those b@@@@@@s need to rot in hell! Why does this keep happening! These poor babies! I don't understand! This is such an evil world!

I am so sorry Rowan. I wish someone could have saved you. I hope you are dancing with the Lord in heaven right now! Rest in peace honey!
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merlynsam
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Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 5519
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:41 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

H4M

Are you okay? I know that this was a case that you brought to our attention very quickly, therefore, it has affected you even more harshly than some others.

They are all precious children and we must reflect on our enhanced understanding as a forum community. We need to find the positive in the darkness.

Sadly, I suspected the step-father when I read your original post. We always hope that the ones who are supposed to protect these children are in no way responsible - but, sadly the statistics show us otherwise.

Now, I am ready for throwing away the key...................

Take care - and I send you a cyber hug. Stay strong.

merly
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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:08 pm

ABC News

10 November 2007

Murder, Rape Charges in Mo. Girl's Death
Authorities Say the Girl's Stepfather and His Friend Raped and Then Strangled the Child

Prosecutors in Missouri filed rape and murder charges against two suspects in the disappearance and death of a 9-year-old girl -- including the child's stepfather.

Authorities in Barry County, Mo., charged Rowan Ford's stepfather, David Spears, 24, and his 32-year-old friend Chris Collings each with a single county of first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape.

An affidavit alleges that both men raped the girl and one of the two strangled her with a cord.

Both were arrested Friday, the same day the body of Rowan Ford was found by a sheriff's deputy in a cave about 10 miles from her Stella, Mo., home. She had been missing for a week.


http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3848168&page=1

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:17 pm

WIBW

15 January 2008

Man Bound Over For Trial in Southwest Mo. Girl's Slaying, Rape

CASSVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ The stepfather charged with raping and murdering 9-year-old Rowan Ford was ordered to stand trial after waiving his right to a hearing on the evidence.

Twenty-five-year-old David Spears appeared in court in the Barry County seat of Cassville on Tuesday. He waived a preliminary hearing on the state's case against him.

Court records show the judge set an arraignment for Jan. 22. No trial date has been set.

A judge entered a plea of not guilty for Spears and his friend Chris Collings after their arrest in November.

Both men are charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape in Rowan's slaying.


http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/13811152.html

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:36 pm

The Turner Report (BLOG)

18 March 2008

Hearing delayed in Rowan Ford murder case

A pre-trial hearing for the two men accused of the rape and murder of nine-year-old Rowan Ford of Stella, originally scheduled for today, has been delayed until 1 p.m. May 20, according to Barry County Circuit Court records.
David Wesley Spears, 25, Stella, Rowan's stepfather, and Spears' friend, Chris Collings, 32, Wheaton, are charged with first degree murder, forcible rape, and statutory rape.


http://rturner229.blogspot.com/2008/03/hearing-delayed-in-rowan-ford-murder.html

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:04 am

Neosho Daily

6 May 2008

Men accused of raping, killing 9-year-old may face death penalty

Cassville, Mo. — Two men accused in the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in November may get the death penalty if convicted.

On Monday, Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox filed an intent to seek the death penalty against David Spears and Chris Collings, who are accused in the death of Rowan Ford. Spears was Ford’s step-father, while Collings was a family friend.

Ford went missing from her Stella home Nov. 2 and was the subject of a massive search that involved local law enforcement agencies, volunteers, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI. The search included areas of Newton, McDonald and Barry counties. About 50 federal agents and 25 members of the highway patrol were involved in the case.

On Nov. 8, Spears led Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges to a sinkhole about 10 miles south of the girl’s home. At one time, both Spears and Collings worked for Bridges in the coroner’s automotive business.

Bridges said he saw some items inside the cavern-like area that raised suspicions, and contacted FBI agents. They, in turn, contacted the McDonald County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies Jake Boles and Mike Hall checked out the sinkhole the following morning and discovered the girl’s body about 20 feet below ground.

Spears and Collings both confessed they raped and murdered the child, authorities have said.

Both men have been charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape.


http://www.neoshodailynews.com/newsnow/x1820413925/Men-accused-of-raping-killing-9-year-old-may-face-death-penalty

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:08 am

Neosho Daily

23 July 2008

Spears case moves to Pulaski County

Cassville, Mo. — A change of venue was granted Tuesday to one of two men accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering a 9-year-old Stella girl last November.

Proceedings for David Wesley Spears, 25, of Stella have been moved to Pulaski County from Barry County. The change of venue request was made by defense attorneys Cynthia Bryden and Sharon Terlington, likely because of publicity in the case.

The ruling was made by Barry County Judge Robert S. Wiley.

Spears and family friend Christopher Collings are accused of abducting, raping and killing Rowan Ford, 9, in early November. Spears was Ford’s step-father.


http://www.neoshodailynews.com/news/x379994463/Spears-case-moves-to-Pulaski-County

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Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:11 am

Neosho Daily

4 September 2008

Collings gets change of venue

Neosho, Mo. — One of two men accused of raping and killing a Stella girl was granted a change of venue Wednesday.

Chris Collings, 33, was granted a change of venue during court proceedings Wednesday in Barry County. His case will now be heard in Phelps County because of publicity in the case.


http://www.neoshodailynews.com/news/x256660229/Collings-gets-change-of-venue


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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:13 am

Neosho Daily

4 December 2008

Spears to go to trial in 2010

Waynesville, Mo. — A trial date has been set for a Stella man accused of raping and murdering his 9-year-old stepdaughter.

David Wesley Spears, 25, will go to trial in July 2010 on charges he raped and murdered 9-year-old Rowan Ford on Nov. 3, 2007. The case was moved to Pulaski County from Barry County this summer on a change of venue.


http://www.neoshodailynews.com/news/x1049843009/Spears-to-go-to-trial-in-2010

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Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:16 am

Neosho Daily

3 August 2009

Spears challenges death penalty

Waynesville, Mo. — The attorney for a Stella man charged with raping and killing his 9-year-old stepdaughter is challenging one factor that would allow the death penalty in the case.

David Spears and Chris Collings are both charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape in the Nov. 3, 2007, death of 9-year-old Rowan Ford. Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox has said he intends to seek the death penalty against both men.

Spears' attorney, Cynthia Dryden, recently filed objections to one of the aggravating circumstances that could be used to impose the death penalty.

Dryden argued that the requirement to prove "wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman" circumstances is unconstitutionally vague.


http://www.neoshodailynews.com/news/x2015101810/Spears-challenges-death-penalty

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Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:22 am

Neosho Daily

25 February 2010

Trial date set for suspect in child’s murder


Christopher Collings

Neosho, Mo. — A trial date has been set for one of the men accused in the rape and murder of a 9-year-old Stella girl in November 2007.

Christopher Collings, 34, of Wheaton is slated to go to trial on Jan. 13, 2011, in Phelps County, where the case was moved on a change of venue. Collings is one of two men accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford, a student at Triway Elementary in Stella. Ford’s stepfather, David Spears, 26, is also accused in the crime
.

http://www.neoshodailynews.com/news/x593977882/Trial-date-set-for-suspect-in-child-s-murder

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Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:27 am

Neosho Daily

15 April 2010

Hearings continue in Spears’ murder case


David Wesley Spears

.... Spears’ defense team is trying to get his taped audio confession thrown out on the basis that it violated Spears’ constitutional rights against self-incrimination. According to Springfield television station KY3, at issue is when Spears was read the Miranda warning and when he requested an attorney be present. The confession was obtained by the Newton County Sheriff’s Department.

http://www.neoshodailynews.com/highlight/x1042536021/Hearings-continue-in-Spears-murder-case

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Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:35 am

KOAM-TV

21 June 2010

Hearing underway to determine if step-fathers taped confession will be allowed in murder trial

http://www.koamtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=12326699

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:52 am

Joplin Globe

21 June 2010

Expert: Stepfather falsely confessed in Rowan Ford murder

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — Detective Brian Martin interviewed David W. Spears a day after Spears reportedly confessed to another investigator that he had participated in the rape and murder of Rowan Ford.

Martin, a Barry County sheriff’s investigator, wanted to know firsthand from the 9-year-old girl’s stepfather: Did he kill her?

“I can’t say that I didn’t,” Spears told Martin, according to a transcript of the interview that was presented at a hearing Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Waynesville.

Martin pressed him to be more clear.

“Any way that you look at it, I didn’t save her,” Spears told him. “I might as well have (killed her).”

Spears’ responses to Martin’s questions on Nov. 10, 2007 — one day after Spears reportedly admitted to Chief Deputy Chris Jennings of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department that he had joined his friend Chris L. Collings in the rape and murder of the girl — were telling in the opinion of an expert witness who testified for several hours Monday on a defense motion to exclude the purported confession from trial.

False confession?

Richard Leo, a law professor at the University of San Francisco and an expert on police interrogations and the obtaining of false confessions, told the court that he interviewed Spears one year ago and reviewed case documents. He said he believes that Spears falsely confessed to Jennings after about a week of accusatory interrogations during which investigators used a number of coercive techniques that various studies associate with the obtaining of false confessions.

Leo said he thinks Spears gradually came to internalize a belief that he must have committed the crime even though he had no memory of it, and this produced a false confession. Leo told the court that the interview with Martin one day later shows that Spears still had no memory of committing the rape and murder of the girl, just as he had maintained all along under questioning before the reported confession.

The hearing concluded Monday without Elizabeth Bock, the assistant attorney general prosecuting the case, getting an opportunity to cross-examine Leo. Circuit Judge Tracy Storie set another hearing for July 26 to conclude the pretrial matter.

Motion to suppress

The motion to suppress Spears’ confession has been the subject of three previous hearings in April and May. The judge will decide the issue after the final hearing in July. Spears’ case is scheduled to go to trial in August of next year.

Authorities say that Spears, 27, and Collings, 34, each confessed to the rape and murder of the girl the night of Nov. 2-3, 2007. They are charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape.

The co-defendants are being tried separately in Pulaski and Phelps counties on changes of venue from Barry County. The state is seeking the death penalty for both men.

Court documents allege that Collings abducted the girl from her home in Stella and took her to his residence in Barry County after the two defendants and a third man had been out drinking together. Spears is accused of going to Collings’ home later in the night, witnessing the sexual assault of Rowan and joining in. Both men purportedly confessed to having strangled her with a rope or cord.

Cynthia Dryden, Spears’ attorney, who works for the capital litigation division of the state public defender’s office, told the court that there is no evidence other than his confession that Spears either raped or killed the girl.

“As far as I’m aware, that is the only evidence there is in this case,” she said.

There is no trace evidence of the girl’s body having been inside the Chevrolet Suburban that Spears purportedly drove to Collings’ home, she said. That is significant because in his confession, Spears reportedly told Jennings that the men hauled the girl’s body in the Suburban to dispose of her down a sinkhole in McDonald County. On the other hand, Dryden said, there is trace evidence of Rowan having been in Collings’ pickup truck.

Bock, the prosecutor, told the judge that the defense is well aware that there is other evidence in the case, and that Dryden was simply “grandstanding” with her comment to the contrary.

“We couldn’t get this far if we didn’t have anything,” Bock said.

Taped portion

Dryden told the court that only a small concluding portion of Jennings’ interrogation of Spears on Nov. 9, 2007, was taped. She said the portion during which he purportedly confessed to certain details of the crime was not recorded. Nor were several other interrogations of him by investigators in the days leading up to his confession, she said.

There are five tapes of telephone conversations her client had with Mark Bridges, the Newton County coroner and a former sheriff who Spears knew. There also are recordings of two “ride-alongs” that Spears took with Bridges before his arrest and alleged confession.

Leo, the law professor, said investigators lied to Spears, telling him that his own mother believed he had committed the crime and that Collings had implicated him in his confession.

Leo testified that during the “ride-alongs” with Bridges and in the final interrogation by Jennings, investigators actually fed Spears details of the crime that had the end effect of “contaminating” the validity of his purported confession.

Defense

The defense maintains that investigators coerced a false confession from David Spears by confronting him with false evidence, making both implicit and explicit threats, and minimizing the consequences of telling them “the truth” while maximizing the consequences if he did not.


http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1617558591/Expert-Stepfather-falsely-confessed-in-Rowan-Ford-murder

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:56 am

I found it very difficult to find any news update on a trial date for David Wesley Spears, but eventually on another discussion site I found this!!


Spears' Attorney is trying to get his confession thrown out. Spears' trial has been rescheduled for August 2011.

Chris Collings is set for trial in January 2011.

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:05 am

Images of Rowan Damia Ford.


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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:46 am

KY3

23 March 2012

Christopher Collings murder trial: Jury recommends death penalty

Formal sentencing is scheduled for May 11.

Twelve jurors recommended Friday evening that Christopher Collings get a death penalty for raping and killing his friend's 9-year-old daughter more than four years ago at Collings' home near Wheaton. The jurors unanimously found, after 45 minutes of deliberations, that the murder involved two of the 17 possible aggravating circumstances that are necessary under Missouri law to impose a death penalty.

The jury found Rowan Ford's death involved torture and that it occurred because the girl was a witness to her own rape and could have identified her rapists to investigators.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments around 5:30. The jury told the judge at 6:15 that it had a verdict and returned to the courtroom shortly afterwards. The jury convicted Collings of first-degree murder on Tuesday for the death of Rowan Ford of Stella in November 2007.

Child development specialist Wanda Draper was the final defense witness on Friday. She talked about how Collings was neglected and sexually abused as a child. She said that contributed to an attachment disorder, and she pointed to state welfare records that showed his adoptive parents struggled with him.

For the jury to decide on a death penalty, it had to cite what specific aggravating circumstances it believes accompanied the murder. The jury also could have decided there were mitigating circumstances for which a death penalty is not justified.

The recommendation to the judge for a death penalty had to be unanimous. If the jury didn't recommend a death penalty, the judge would have had no choice but to impose the life prison sentence. Circuit Judge Mary Sheffield does not have to follow the jury's recommendation for a death.

Sheffield set a sentencing hearing for May 11. Between now and then, she'll likely receive the usual motions from defense attorneys for a new trial or to ignore the death penalty recommendation.

Post-trial appeals in a death penalty case usually take years. Missouri has 46 prisoners on death row. The oldest case is from 1982. The cases of the 68 men executed in Missouri since 1989 took between six and 14 years from sentencing to lethal injection.

The second man accused of Rowan's rape and murder, David Spears, is scheduled for trial in Waynesville in November with a jury from Clay County, which is also on the north side of Kansas City like Platte County. Spears was married to Rowan's mother at the time, but she divorced him shortly after Rowan was murdered.

Both cases were moved out of Barry County to try to ensure fair trials. Collings' first trial ended in a mistrial when not enough jurors from Phelps County could be found who hadn't formed an opinion about the case.


http://articles.ky3.com/2012-03-23/christopher-collings_31232234


Last edited by Twiglet on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:50 am

McDonald county Press

4 October 2012

Murder Charge Dropped

STEPFATHER PLEADS TO LESSER OFFENSES

David Wesley Spears won’t have to sit through a long, drawn-out trial before a jury of his peers.

Spears won’t have to sit at the defendant’s table and listen to strong, damning and convincing testimony from lawmen, psychologists and a slew of other prosecution witnesses.

He won’t have to sit and listen for weeks to the details of that night in November 2007 when his stepdaughter, Rowan Ford, was brutally raped and choked to death at the hands of his drinking buddy and friend, Christopher Leroy Collings, 37, then dumped in a small, dark cave in McDonald County near Powell.

Collings was convicted by a jury in March this year and sentenced to death for that heinous crime.

No, instead of all that, Spears, 29, will have to spend 11 years in prison for not fulfilling his obligation to his stepdaughter by protecting her from serious harm and for trying to cover up his actions that night, even asking a friend to lie to police about where he was.

After consultation with attorneys from the Attorney General’s O◊ce and reports on new evidence from an independent laboratory, charges of first degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape were dropped against Spears. Under a plea deal with Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox, Spears was sentenced to seven years in prison for endangering the welfare of a child and four more for hindering prosecution, the maximum allowable for each felony o◊ense.

Spears entered a plea of guilty to the two new charges Sept. 26 in Pulaski County Circuit Court before Judge Tracie L. Storie.

It was not an easy decision for Cox, referring to the fact that Spears had confessed to being an accomplice to Collings in the rape and murder shortly after he was arrested.

“This case has almost consumed the resources of my o◊ce for the last four years and 10 months,” Cox noted in a news release. “Over the course of time that his case has been pending, evidence other than his statement has been pursued tobe used to prove David Spears was involved in the rape and murder of Rowan Ford. During that time, no additional evidence implicating Mr. Spears has been developed.”

He said that tests and analyses of physical evidence gathered in the case did not implicate Spears and the results have been inconsistent with his original statement. Evidence he referred to included a rape kit that was collected from an autopsy of the girl, then studied by the FBI lab, the state police lab and, just recently, by an independent lab, and other items. However, the results from the independent lab testing were consistent with statements by Christopher Collings of the incident.

In addition, Cox noted, there were inconsistencies in Spears’ statement that he actually strangled the girl.

“The lack of physical evidence that would be able to be used in court has created serious concerns and uncertainty about the statement David Spears gave to law enforcement,” Cox said.

Another roadblock to the original case against Spears was the denial by Collings of anyone else being involved from his fi rst recorded statement to his final recorded statement, Cox said.

“During every statement made to law enforcement Christopher Collings admitted that he had strangled Rowan Ford,” Cox said. Then, at Collings’ trial, the state used his statement against him, a key piece of evidence, according to Cox.

Cox had concerns of having to argue that Collings’ statement was an accurate account, having to present Spears’ statement and argue its validity as well and, in effect, having to argue that both versions are true even if they cannotbe true, he noted.

Another concern was the possibility that pursuing an inconsistent theory would likely produce an avenue for Spears’ case to be overturned if he was found guilty of the more serious crimes and, possibly, create a potential for Collings’ case to also be overturned. Neither avenue was acceptable to the state, Cox noted. He also said he knows what an outraged public is thinking - that Spears’ was involved and wants to see him receive punishment for that alleged involvement.

“This type of crime should outrage everyone,” Cox said. “I was outraged when I first heard about it. However, as a prosecutor, I am a minister of justice and must do what the law requires, what the factsrequire and what fairness and justice require.” Right Move

McDonald County Sheri◊Robert M. Evenson was a detective on the Barry County Sheriff’s Department when Rowan Ford was kidnapped, raped and murdered Nov. 3, 2007.

Evenson said he feels Cox made the right decision.

“There was no physical evidence that would have supported convicting David Spears,” Evenson said. “So, as hard as it was for the prosecuting attorney, he did what he had to do.”

Evenson was the detective who received Collings’ first statement and his first confession in which he said he acted alone in the crime.

“He swore he acted alone,” Evenson said. “The evidence indicated Collings was the perpetrator. Spears’ confession was similar, but there were several inconsistencies with the evidence suggesting Collings committed it.”

That may all be so, but it leaves a highly curious public.

“This is important,” Evenson stressed. “Why wouldsomeone confess to such a horrible crime? That’s the question the public has and there’s no good explanation for that.”

“I agree with the prosecutor’s decision,” he said. “I really questioned whether he was ever guilty. I knew the case was going to be horrible. He could have gotten acquitted.”


http://mdcp.nwaonline.com/news/2012/oct/04/murder-charge-dropped-20121004/

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default Re: ROWAN DAMIA FORD - Aged 9 years - Stella, Missouri (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:02 am

Rowan's stepfather, David W. Spears, 29, pleaded guilty to child endangerment and hindering prosecution at a hearing in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Waynesville, where his case was moved in a change of venue from Barry County.

Circuit Judge Tracy Storie assessed Spears seven years in prison on the endangerment count and four years for hindering prosecution, and ordered that the terms run consecutively as requested by the state. Since Spears already has served almost five years in jail, he could be eligible for parole within a matter of a few years.


Sentence: Christopher Collings was Sentenced to Death for the murder of Rowan Ford...

David Spears was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison. He has already served 5 years of his sentence.

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:00 am

R.I.P. Rowan



Sweet Child

God made a sweet child
a child who never grew old
He made a smile of sunshine
He molded a heart of pure gold.

He made that child as close to an angel
as anyone ever could be
God made a Sweet Child
and He gave that dear child to me

Then God saw His wonderful creation
growing very tired and weak
so He wrapped the child in His loving arms
and said, "You my child I keep"

But now my Sweet Child is an angel
Free from hurt and pain
I'll love you forever, until we meet again

So many times I have missed you
So many times I have cried
If all my love could have saved you
Sweet Child you never would have died.

~Author unknown~

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