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Thread: When Anglo-Mestizo Inbreds Attack Baby Anglo-Mestizos -- The Rowan Ford Trial

  1. #21
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    Default Spears pleads guilty, Plea bargain nets stepfather 11 years in prison.

    Spears pleads guilty
    Plea bargain nets stepfather 11 years in prison.

    By Todd G. Higdon
    September 26. 2012 10:01PM
    Neosho, MO


    WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — David Spears, 29, the stepfather of Rowan Ford, was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison after reaching a plea agreement in the death of the 9-year-old girl.

    Spears pleaded guilty Wednesday to child endangerment and hindering prosecution charges in the 2007 death of Ford.

    As part of the plea deal, Barry County prosecutors dismissed first-degree murder and rape charges against Spears because the physical evidence failed to implicate him or was inconsistent with statements Spears made to investigators, Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox said in a statement Wednesday to the Associated Press.

    Spears was sentenced to seven years in prison on the child endangerment charge and four years on the hindering prosecution charge. The sentences are to run consecutively.

    After hearing the news, Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland was interviewed by the Neosho Daily News.

    “Almost five years ago, one of the most horrific crimes in my career occurred in Stella,” Copeland said. “That was the kidnap, rape and murder of Rowan Ford, 9. I have never seen so many law enforcement agencies involved and worked more closely together. More than 75 FBI agents, highway patrol, all of the agencies in Newton County assisted us on that. We cannot manufacture evidence: we had what we had. We had the same evidence four and a half years ago as we do today; nothing changed all of that time. What we had is Spears confessing that he witnessed the murder. We have Chris Collings, who’s sitting on death row. There is no doubt in any of our minds that he abducted, raped and murdered little Rowan. During that time, Spears admitted and gave the interrogators a confession that he was present.”

    Collings, 37, of Wheaton, was convicted on rape and murder charges and sentenced to death earlier this year for the child’s death. His execution date hasn’t been set.

    Collings repeatedly confessed to the abduction, rape and slaying of the child, and has said that he alone sexually assaulted and strangled the girl at his home near Wheaton.

    “David Spears and Chris Collings are responsible for the death of this little girl,” Copeland added.

    Inside Copeland’s office there is a picture of Ford that has been there for nearly five years.

    “It is still there today, I have looked at it more today than I have in the past several months,” the sheriff said. “It will stay there. As far as I am concerned, it will be there as long as I am sheriff, as a reminder not of just her, but all of the little kids out there that are mistreated and abused. It is a reminder to me and to all of us that we need to do more for our kids.”


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  2. #22
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    Default Murder, rape charges dropped against Rowan Ford's stepfather; pleads guilty to lesser charges

    Murder, rape charges dropped against Rowan Ford's stepfather; pleads guilty to lesser charges



    East Newton High School is missing a student this year.

    The 2012-2013 school year would have been Rowan Ford’s first at East Newton, the beginning of a new chapter in the Stella girl’s life.

    That chapter closed before it ever ended nearly five years ago, November 2, 2007, when Rowan, a nine-year-old fourth grader at Triway Elementary, was raped and murdered. Earlier this year, one of the two men charged with the crime, Chris Collings of Wheaton, a family friend, was found guilty and was sentenced to death. The first appeal of that sentence has already been filed.

    The other man accused of the crime, Rowan Ford’s stepfather, David Wesley Spears, will never stand trial for the murder.

    The Barry County Prosecuting Attorney’s office dropped the charges against Spears Tuesday. Instead, Spears pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment, for which he received a seven-year sentence, and hindering prosecution, which brought him an additional four years. The sentences will run consecutively, according to online court records.

    Spears reportedly went drinking with friends, leaving the nine-year-old alone. After her disappearance, he repeatedly lied to the authorities, before finally leading them to the discovery of Rowan Ford’s body.

    Though Spears told investigators that he had committed the rape and murder, Collings insisted that he was the only one involved and reportedly, none of Spears’ DNA was found on the child’s body.

    Collings did not testify at his trial. It would not have done him any good. In fact, his attorneys did not present any witnesses, but simply rested their case. It was Collings’ chilling confession to Barry County deputies that after drinking heavily and smoking marijuana, he took Rowan Ford from her bedroom to his place, raped her and then murdered her when he thought she had recognized him and would be able to tell what he had done that cinched the guilty verdict.

    Despite Collings’ insistence that he was the only one involved in Rowan Ford’s death, deputies indicated Spears had information that he could have only known if he had participated in the crime. There was no mention of that in statements issued following Tuesday’s guilty plea.

    The plea and sentencing bring to an end a case that has had a profound effect on life in Stella, a community of 200, over the past five years.

    In 2010, when the community dedicated a memorial park for veterans, a tribute to Rowan Ford was included.

    And visitors still flock to a memorial webpage for Rowan, with condolences continuing to pour in and pages filled with pictures of Rowan and images of cartoon characters like Winnie the Pooh, a direct contrast to the depravity and violence that ended Rowan’s life.

    April 11, on what would have been Rowan’s 14th birthday, the following message was left on the memorial page:
    Happy birthday, Rowan. i know you had a wonderful day with all your angel friends you have met, but just wanted you know i miss you, but haven't forgotten you and someday I will see you again and will see that beautiful smile and get a big hug from you.”

    Posted by Randy at 8:47 PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2012


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  3. #23
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    Default VIDEO: Stepfather takes plea deal in Rowan Ford murder case

    VIDEO: Stepfather takes plea deal in Rowan Ford murder case

    Stepfather pleads guilty to lesser charges

    By Jeff Lehr

    September 26, 2012


    WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — Citing legal difficulties with his alleged confession, prosecutors dropped murder and rape charges against Rowan Ford’s stepfather Wednesday, allowing him to plead guilty to two lesser felonies and be assessed 11 years in prison.

    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.

    At the hearing, Spears admitted leaving his 9-year-old stepdaughter alone at their home in Stella the night she was abducted, raped and killed in November 2007. He also admitted leaving a message on the answering machine of his drinking buddy, Nathan Mahurin, asking Mahurin to lie to investigators about why he left her alone.

    But the state was forced to drop counts of first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape that Spears was facing because of conflicts between his alleged confession and statements provided to investigators by co-defendant Chris Collings, according to Johnny Cox, the Barry County prosecutor. Cox also cited new forensic evidence that became available in August.

    Collings’ claims

    Collings, 37, who was convicted in March and sentenced to die, repeatedly claimed to investigators five years ago that he acted alone. Cox said Collings’ various statements were “the most critical piece of evidence” the state had in convicting him of the crime.

    On the other hand, Spears told investigators that he strangled the girl while Collings aided and encouraged him, and the prosecution would have had to argue the validity of that claim if Spears were taken to trial, Cox said.

    “This would put the state in a position of arguing inconsistent theories of who actually strangled Rowan Ford,” Cox said. “The state would have to argue that both versions are true, even if they both cannot be true.”

    He said state and federal courts prohibit inconsistent theories in the prosecution of co-defendants. Pursuing such a course could result not only in the overturning of any conviction of Spears that might be obtained, but also the conviction of Collings that already has been obtained, he said.

    “Without physical evidence that is consistent with David Spears’ statement, the state cannot and will not pursue a course of action that would put the Christopher Collings conviction at risk,” Cox said.

    Cox said he knows many people are convinced that Spears was involved. But he cannot be certain without any evidence to support his confession, he said.

    “I cannot in good conscience ask a jury to convict a person of murder in the first degree and ask that he be put to death if I am uncertain about his involvement,” Cox said.

    False confession

    The defense has asserted in pretrial hearings and motions that Spears provided a false confession, or confabulation, to investigators after several accusatory interrogations in the week after the girl’s disappearance. An expert witness testified at a hearing in 2010 that under such pressure, Spears gradually came to internalize a belief that he must have committed the crime even though he had no memory of it.

    Defense attorney Sharon Turlington said after the hearing that “everything about this case has been consistent with a false confession.”

    “What happened here today is David took responsibility for what he did do,” Turlington said. “He was never involved in the abduction, rape or murder of Rowan.”

    She said the physical evidence in the case is inconsistent with the alleged confession Spears provided investigators but does corroborate Collings’ version of the crime.

    Spears allegedly told investigators that after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana with Collings and Mahurin, he and Mahurin left Collings’ home in Wheaton and took a leisurely drive along some back roads to his home in Stella. The stepfather said that when he got back, he saw that his stepdaughter was gone and realized that Collings had taken a more direct route and abducted her.

    He told investigators that he borrowed his mother’s van and drove to Collings’ home, where he caught his friend in the act of sexually assaulting the girl. Rather than intervening, he joined in the sexual assault of the girl, he allegedly told investigators.

    In direct contradiction to Collings’ account, Spears allegedly said he strangled the girl with a piece of cord and that they then disposed of her body together, hauling it to a cave in McDonald County inside his mother’s Suburban. Collings told investigators that he took the girl’s body to the cave in the back of his pickup truck.

    DNA tests

    Hairs containing DNA consistent with Rowan’s DNA profile were found in the back of Collings’ truck, and prosecutors entered those hairs as evidence at Collings’ trial. And, two hairs found on her body during an autopsy were determined to be a match with Collings’ mitochondrial DNA profile, a match found in less than 1.52 percent of the Caucasian population. Tests excluded Spears as a possible source of the hairs.

    Cox said three different laboratories — the FBI and Missouri State Highway Patrol crime labs and an independent lab consulted by the defense — analyzed a rape kit that was collected at the autopsy, and two of those labs tested items from the back of Collings’ truck. None of the labs found any evidence to implicate Spears, he said.

    The defense had to wait until after Collings’ trial to have items analyzed at their independent lab. Cox acknowledged that the testing done there came up with new evidence supporting Collings’ account of the crime and not what Spears told investigators.

    In particular, a hair and a cigarette butt found in the back of Collings’ truck that had not been tested by the FBI or the state patrol were analyzed. The hair matched Collings’ mitochondrial DNA, and DNA Short Tandem Repeat testing of the cigarette butt, which showed a presumptive positive for blood, found a mixture of DNA from Collings and the girl. The match to Collings’ profile was one in 170 billion within a Caucasian population.

    During the sentencing phase of Collings’ trial, in an effort to suggest that Collings may not have been the only one involved in the crime, his attorneys called a woman handler of a cadaver dog to testify that her dog alerted on Spears’ mother’s Suburban, possibly indicating that a dead body had been in the vehicle.

    Cynthia Dryden, Spears’ other attorney, said after the hearing that investigators searched the Suburban “with every method possible,” from vacuuming for trace evidence to black light examination, and “didn’t find anything.” The state had argued at Collings’ trial that what the dog may have been alerting on was cells shed from the necrotic tissue of a leg wound his father suffered.

    Colleen Spears, the girl’s mother, who attended the plea hearing, had little comment to make. She acknowledged that she was informed of the pending plea deal about 10 days ago. She said she had no real choice but to accept the outcome.

    “I couldn’t do anything else,” she said.


    THE DEFENSE released a statement after the plea hearing Wednesday that said David Spears is “deeply sorry that his actions, leaving Rowan Ford alone that night, contributed to the tragic death of his stepdaughter,” and that the pain it has caused her family, his own family and the community “will carry with him forever.”

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  4. #24
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    Default Supreme Court denies death row appeal for Rowan Ford's killer

    Supreme Court denies death row appeal for Rowan Ford's killer



    The Missouri Supreme Court today denied the death row appeal of Chris Collings, who raped and murdered nine-year-old Rowan Ford, Stella, a fourth grader at Triway Elementary School, on November 2, 2007.

    The court heard arguments in the case January 8, with public defenders representing Collings asking that he either be granted a new trial, be sentenced to second degree murder instead of first degree, or resentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

    The attorneys cited a number of reasons for the requests including the following, all of which were rejected by the judges.
    -Collings did not confess voluntarily. "Law enforcement officers exploited the close friendship Collings had with Wheaton Police Chief Clinton Clark." The petition also says law enforcement took advantage of Collings' fear of vigilante justice.

    -Clark kept Collings talking even though he was aware Collings had an attorney.

    -The prosecution failed to prove an element of first degree murder, that Collings had "coolly reflected" before killing Rowan Ford. Testimony indicated that Collings "freaked out" when he realized that Rowan had recognized him after he raped her.

    -The judge should not have allowed the prosecution to show "excessively gruesome and prejudicial" photos of Rowan Ford.

    -The judge should have declared a mistrial after the prosecutor simulated the strangulation of Rowan Ford in front of the jury.

    -Chris Collings has shown "deep remorse" and "accepted responsibility" for the murder.



    The facts of the case were laid out at the beginning of the brief submitted by Collings' attorneys.
    On November 2, 2007, nine-year-old Rowan Ford lived with her mother, Colleen Munson, and her step-father, David Spears, at 777 Grove Street, in Stella, Newton County, Missouri. Spears was friends with Christopher Collings and Nathan Mahurin. Collings lived in a camper in Wheaton, in Barry County.

    Friday, November 2nd
    At about 6:00 p.m., Mahurin drove Collings and Spears to Spears’ house. On the way, they bought two or three six-packs of Smirnoff Ice. At Spears’ house, they drank and played pool in the basement.
    At 8:30 p.m., Colleen went to work, leaving Spears to babysit Rowan.

    Later, Collings and Mahurin left to buy more alcohol. Collings asked Mahurin to drive him home. They talked Spears into coming along and leaving Rowan by herself. On the way, they stopped to buy another six-pack of Smirnoff Ice. They arrived at Collings’ camper at about 11 p.m. and talked, drank, and smoked marijuana.

    After 30-60 minutes, Mahurin needed to get home. Because they were drunk, he and Spears drove back roads slowly. Mahurin left Collings’ camper at about 1 or 11:30 p.m. and dropped Spears off at 777 Grove. The drive took 10-20 minutes.

    Saturday, November 3rd
    At about 9:00 a.m., Colleen came home and could not find Rowan. Spears told her that Rowan was at a friend’s house but could not say which friend.

    Colleen walked around Stella looking for her daughter and then drove around with Spears. She wanted Spears to call the police, but he would not, insisting that Rowan was at a friend’s house. Finally, at about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., Spears called the Newton County Sheriff’s Department to report Rowan missing. Patrolmen searched for Rowan, and the Highway Patrol tried to locate her friends. Sheriff deputies interviewed Spears and Mahurin for several hours. Spears, Mahurin, and Collings were considered suspects or “persons of interest,” since they were the last ones to have seen Rowan.

    Sunday, November 4th
    On Sunday, law enforcement teams searched the area. Newton County deputies spoke with Collings, who was concerned, cooperative, and polite.

    He stated that he, Spears, and Mahurin were drinking and playing pool at Spears’ house. At about 10:30 p.m., they left Rowan, bought more alcohol, and went to Collings’ camper. They had been drinking heavily all evening. Spears and Mahurin left sometime after midnight, and Collings went to bed.
    Later, Collings visited Munson. Collings had lived at 777 Grove Street with Munson, Spears, and Rowan Ford for several months, but had recently moved out. He asked Munson how the search was going, and he offered to help find Rowan. Collings visited Munson again the next day.

    Monday, November 5th

    The F.B.I. joined the investigation on November 5th. They set up a command post, with phone lines so people could call in tips. Searches were conducted in and around Stella. Two Newton County deputies went to Collings’ workplace and asked him to answer more questions. Collings agreed, drove to the Sheriff’s Department, and relayed largely the same account as the day before. Collings agreed to take a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) test. An officer asked Collings about Spears and the events of Friday night. He then read Collings his rights; Collings understood and signed the form.

    After the test, Collings again spoke with the two deputies. He insisted he knew nothing about Rowan’s disappearance. He agreed to answer questions again if needed and offered to help in the search. Collings had a long-standing, close relationship with the Wheaton Chief of Police, Clinton Clark. Collings had known Clark since he was a young boy.

    Clark was a good friend of Collings’ adoptive mother, Betty, and also knew his adoptive father, Clarence Collings came to Clark for help and advice, and for solace when Betty died. After Collings moved to Arkansas, he made sure to come visit Clark each time he came back home. Collings trusted Clark.
    Late Monday afternoon, Clark was on patrol when Collings flagged him down. Collings told Clark that Rowan was missing and that he had been at the Sheriff’s Office all day helping find her. Collings was not acting normal and seemed excited. Clark encouraged him to continue to help the investigation.

    Afterwards, Clark called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the F.B.I. to inform them that Collings had contacted him. He told them he and Collings were long-standing friends and had good rapport. He believed Collings knew something about Rowan’s disappearance, and he offered his help in the investigation. Deputy Jennings encouraged Clark to keep working with Collings, and in turn, Clark called Jennings throughout the week to relay the contacts he had with Collings.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Jennings had been interviewing David Spears with the help of Mark Bridges, the Newton County coroner.Bridges had been Spears’ past employer. They had known each other quite awhile and had good rapport.

    On Monday evening, two F.B.I. agents went to 777 Grove. Collings spoke with one of the agents and gave an account consistent with what he had already told investigators. Collings suggested places to search for Rowan.

    Tuesday, November 6th

    On Tuesday, F.B.I. agents Ramana and Tarpley came to Clark’s office. They encouraged Clark to help in the investigation. Clark considered this a request for mutual aid from one law enforcement agency to another.
    Late that afternoon, Collings visited Clark. He told Clark that when he was at work, F.B.I. agents took him to Newton County to answer more questions, and he spent most of the day there. Collings could not make eye contact and kept his head down. They spoke just a few minutes. Clark believed Collings had
    something on his mind.

    Wednesday, November 7th

    At 9:15 a.m., officers again went to Collings’ workplace, and Collings agreed to answer more questions. He agreed to DNA testing, allowed officers to search a safe found in the basement of 777 Grove, and consented to a search of his property and buildings.

    Collings discussed the same matters previously discussed. Additionally, the officers asked about information they had received that Spears was trying to establish an alibi for Friday evening. Collings refuted the alibi,
    denying that he had run out of gas on Friday night. He admitted that he, Spears, and Mahurin smoked a “hog’s leg,” a really large marijuana cigarette, at his camper on Friday evening. (Tr.3953). He told the officers that he could not have beaten Spears and Mahurin back to Spears’ house on Friday evening.
    Collings took a polygraph test. At the end of the test, he refused to speak to the examiner further.

    Two agents questioned Collings from 2:45 to 5:12 p.m. Collings told them that if they insinuated he was involved in Rowan’s disappearance, he would stop talking to them. Collings left soon afterwards, at 5:18 p.m.

    Very upset, Collings visited Clark. He stated that the officers needed to back off and that, if they continued to accuse him, he would not speak with them and would get an attorney.

    Collings said he told them that if he had anything to say, he would say it to Clark. Clark told Collings it was his constitutional right to get an attorney, but he also urged Collings to keep helping find Rowan. He told
    Collings it would not be in his best interest to stop cooperating with law enforcement. Collings said he thought he should get a lawyer. Clark then read Collings his rights.

    Collings agreed to speak and signed the form at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday evening. Collings started crying and stated he had always loved Rowan and would not hurt her. At that point, someone came into the office. Collings abruptly left, stating he needed to give his father his medication.

    Afterwards, Clark called the F.B.I. He reported that Collings was near a breaking point and suggested that the agents give Collings a day off from questioning. He would try to talk to Collings and get him to disclose what happened.

    Meanwhile, a field search was conducted on Collings’ property. The two-acre property contained abandoned vehicles, junk, and trailers. No evidence was seized.

    Thursday, November 8th

    On Thursday, Clark met with F.B.I. agents Stinnett and Tarpley.
    They talked about Clark’s unique relationship with Collings and the dynamics of Collings’ family. Clark thought Collings knew something about Rowan’s disappearance.

    The missing piece of the puzzle was locating Rowan’s body. Once they found the body, the agents wanted Clark to speak with Collings. If Collings was going to confess, it would be to

    Friday, November 9th

    Rowan’s body was finally found in a sinkhole/cave called Fox Cave. The cave was 20-30 feet from the road in a wooded area. It was 10-15 feet deep. Rowan was naked except for a shirt and a sock.
    There appeared to be blood at her vaginal area and ligature marks on her neck.

    Clark heard on the news that Rowan’s body had been found. He learned that Collings had come into his office looking for him. At 1:30 p.m., he went looking for Collings. At 2:08 p.m., Collings called Clark and asked if law enforcement officers were following him in a gray van.. Clark told him he had not heard of any such surveillance. Collings was shaken and feared for his safety. He had driven all over trying to lose the van and was finally able to do so. Clark told him to go directly to his office. But instead, Collings suggested Clark stay where he was, and he would join him. Clark hung up and immediately called F.B.I. Agent Tarpley to advise that he had contacted Collings.

    When Collings arrived a few minutes later, he and Clark spoke about the gray van. Clark told Collings they needed to talk, and he should come to Clark’s office. Collings agreed, and they drove together in Clark’s police car. On the way, they discussed the van. Collings was worried that people might take matters into their own hands. Knowing that Collings was upset, Clark told him that he did not work 24 hours a day and could not guarantee his safety all the time.He told him that he would protect him to the extent he could.
    At the office, Clark read Collings his rights. Collings was worried about the fact he had been followed. He signed a waiver form, noting the time as 3 p.m.

    Collings cried and started to talk, but someone came into the office. Collings would not speak with so many people around. Clark asked if
    Collings wanted to go somewhere else. Collings agreed to go to the Muncie Bridge, a few miles out of town.
    Clark drove to the Muncie Bridge with Collings in the front passenger seat. Collings was not under arrest. On the way, at 2:30 p.m., Clark phoned the Newton and Barry County Sheriff Departments to advise that
    he would be speaking to Collings at the Muncie Bridge.

    Clark and Collings sat on a slope near the bridge. Collings relayed largely the same story he had previously told law enforcement, up to the point when Spears and Mahurin left his camper. From that point onward, however, Collings relayed a different story. Crying, Collings confessed to raping and killing Rowan.

    At 2:25 p.m., driving back to his office, Clark called to tell the city clerk to empty the building. He called other law enforcement officers to tell them to meet him and Collings at his office. There, Collings recounted his statement in front of six law enforcement officers. He was very upset. Collings was handcuffed and taken to the Barry County Sheriff’s Department.

    At 5:29 p.m., he was read his Miranda rights and gave a videotaped statement. He acknowledged that his
    rights had been read to him several times.

    The Confession

    Collings explained that, before they left his camper, Mahurin and Spears stated they were going to take back roads home so they could smoke more marijuana and finish the alcohol, while also avoiding the police. Collings probably had five six-packs of Smirnoff Ice, and Spears and Mahurin also drank whiskey
    and tequila. Collings knew that if he hurried, he could beat Spears home. He felt strange.. He did not know why he drove to Spears’ house. He was “really, really fucked up” and did not intend to take

    Collings drove the direct route to Spears’ house. He walked through the house, looking in a few rooms.
    He went into Rowan’s room and saw her on the floor under a blanket. He picked her up and carried her to the truck.

    Collings probably started to think about having sex with Rowan on the way
    home. At his camper, he carried Rowan, still sleeping, inside and
    put her on the bed. He “used his finger on her a little” and then had vaginal intercourse with her for a few minutes, possibly ejaculating. Rowan awoke when Collings penetrated her, and she struggled. Intercourse lasted possibly four or five minutes. Collings intended to return Rowan to her bed. He led Rowan
    outside, facing away from him so that she could not see his face. He had made sure to keep the lights off in the camper and did not speak so Rowan would not recognize his voice. But outside, in the light of
    the moon, Rowan looked back and saw Collings. Collings knew that she had recognized him, and he “freaked out.” He saw a coil of cord in the bed of the old pickup truck next to him. He took the cord, looped it around Rowan’s neck, and pulled it tight for a few minutes. She struggled a little and fell to the ground. Collings went to the ground with her and held tight until she stopped moving.

    Here, Collings had to stop to compose himself during his videotaped confession. Collings knew he needed to hide Rowan’s body. He put her in the pickup truck’s bed. Initially, he planned to put her in a creek, but he did not want her to be discovered quickly, so he left her in Fox Cave.

    Back at his camper, Collings turned on the light and discovered blood on his mattress and clothes. In a woodstove, he burned Rowan’s pants, underpants, his clothes, and the rope He took the mattress
    outside, rolled it up, and put it in a 55-gallon drum with some old carpet to help it burn. He moved the drum into the calf barn so the fire would not be so noticeable. Collings denied that Spears or anyone else was involved in Rowan’s death. He vouched that he gave his statement of his own free will, without threats or promises. Collings noted that he had been “bawling like a baby all afternoon.” . He felt guilty and remorseful.

    Second Videotaped Statement

    While Collings was giving his first videotaped statement on Friday afternoon, Deputy Jennings was re-interviewing Spears with Mark Bridges at the Newton County Sheriff Department. Because of statements Spears made, the officers questioned Collings again at 8:02 p.m. Collings was told that Spears confessed to also having sex with Rowan, being there when Collings killed her, and helping dispose of the body.
    Spears stated that after Mahurin took him home, he called his mother, had her bring her Suburban to the house, and he took the Suburban over to Collings’ camper. But Collings repeatedly insisted that Spears had nothing to do with Rowan’s death.

    November 9th Search

    Collings’ property was searched for a second time that evening. In the camper, officers found a twin box spring but no mattress.Outside the camper was a silver pick-up truck, and in the bed was a rusted, empty metal spool. A piece of string or twine was found on the driver’s side floor. In the calf barn was a 55-gallon drum, and in the yard was a 55-gallon drum converted into a woodstove. A burn pile off into the trees contained an item appearing to be cord, but which, upon testing, was determined not to be.

    Collings’ white pickup truck was thoroughly searched. A light-to-medium brown Caucasian head hair, about seven inches long, was found in the truck bed. A partial DNA profile was developed and found to be
    consistent with Rowan’s DNA profile. The frequency of the partial profile in the Caucasian population was 1 in 328,700.

    Procedural History
    On December 21, 2007, Collings was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of forcible rape, and one count of statutory rape.Venue was changed to Phelps County, and a jury was selected from Platte County. The court severed the murder count from the rape counts.

    Collings moved to suppress his statements and all evidence gained from the November 9th search of his property. Collings moved to admit the videotape of a November 14, 2007, conversation between Collings and Clark at the jail five days after Collings’ arrest. He argued that the videotape showed the nature of his relationship with Clark and how Clark pressured him to forego his constitutional rights. The court refused to consider the videotape and denied the motion to suppress.

    At trial, Collings objected to testimony and evidence regarding the string seized taken from the burn pile; ashes/debris taken from the wood stove; the partial DNA profile; and the hair analysis, on the ground that they lacked true probative value, but the court overruled the objections.. Over objection, the State presented multiple gory photographs.. During closing argument, defense counsel objected that
    the State was personalizing its argument by acting out the strangulation. The jury found Collings guilty of first-degree murder.

    Penalty Phase: State’s Evidence
    Colleen Munson testified that Rowan was a typical little girl who loved school, church, and biking. The last time Munson saw Rowan, Rowan ran down the steps to give her a hug and a kiss before Munson left for work.

    While Rowan was missing, Munson sat outside every day awaiting her return. Rowan’s death devastated Munson. Since Rowan’s death, Munson has been suicidal, was hospitalized several times, and remains under psychiatric care.She thinks of Rowan all the time.

    Ariane Parsons, Rowan’s older sister by ten years, testified that Rowan was a bundle of love who cared about everybody, had beautiful brown eyes, and loved to ride her bike. Because Munson worked nights and slept during the day, Parsons took care of Rowan like a mother. They did everything together.
    Parsons moved out the month after she turned eighteen, about five weeks before Rowan disappeared. She felt responsible for Rowan’s death because she was not there to protect her.
    From the time Parsons was fifteen, Collings sometimes acted inappropriately toward her. Once, when Munson and Spears were at work, Collings called Parsons into the room to look at pornography. Other times, he rubbed against her, grabbed her butt, or touched her breasts.Collings would jokingly say something sexual and then say he was waiting for her to be a certain age. Parsons repeatedly told Munson and Spears, but they said he was just joking. She never saw Collings do anything inappropriate toward Rowan.

    Two teachers testified that Rowan was very sweet, always willing to do what she was told, and never in trouble. She loved school, worked hard, and read avidly.Rowan came from a poor family, and her home conditions were not good. She sometimes came to school in the winter with no socks. Rowan’s hair was always matted and ratty, and she sometimes had lice..The teachers believed she was the victim of parental neglect and reported it to DFS, but nothing changed.

    When Rowan was missing, class was very difficult. The kids wrote poems and made cards for Rowan. Even now, the teachers missed Rowan and thought of her every day. One teacher became so depressed after her death he sought counseling.

    The morning of Rowan’s funeral, the students planted a pink dogwood tree in her memory and under the tree, placed a memorial marker and a small angel kneeling in prayer. The children wrote notes to Rowan and attached them to purple balloons which they released. A bench
    with a plaque in Rowan’s memory was placed in the school library.

    A neighbor testified that Rowan was quiet, kind, and sweet-natured.Rowan was best friend to her son Tyler. After Rowan’s death, Tyler insisted on sleeping with his mother. Another neighbor testified that Rowan
    was “a beautiful little girl” whom she would have liked to have had as a granddaughter.

    Penalty Phase: Defense Evidence

    Collings’ biological parents were Dale Pickett and Barbara DiBello. Starting at age fourteen, Barbara had eleven arrests for robbery, stealing, and assault and had issues with alcohol and drug abuse.
    Barbara was married three times and had six children before she married Dale. Collings was their only child together. Collings was born with a large red knot on the left side of his head. Barbara
    massaged it, and it
    went away within a few weeks or months. They never knew what caused it. Both Dale and Barbara liked to drink. Dale typically got drunk every day. Barbara used drugs and alcohol, but stopped when she was
    pregnant with Collings, only to start again after his birth.She often got drunk and fought with Dale.
    Collings lived with Dale and Barbara for the first six months of his life. (Tr.5967).
    Dale spent time with Collings and loved him. But most of the care Collings received came from his half-brother Greg, age twelve, who was the only one responsible enough to take care of him.

    In August, 1975, Dale shot a man in Arkansas and was charged with assault with intent to kill. He pled guilty and received a 21-year prison sentence.

    With Dale in prison, Barbara worked several jobs and was not home much. When Collings was around six months old, Barbara instructed Greg to clean the house and then left. She returned drunk and beat Greg repeatedly.

    When she realized what she had done, she got a butcher knife from the kitchen and went after the man who had gotten her drunk. Barbara was arrested for drunk driving and making threats. Around this time, she was diagnosed with explosive personality disorder.The children were sent to a shelter home for a few days and then later to different foster homes.

    In September, 1975, Collings, then seven months old, was sent to live with Clarence and Betty Collings and their children Debbie, Robin, and Randy. In February, 1976, when Collings was one, Debbie died
    in a car accident.

    Collings’ difficulties started when he was very young. He got high fevers that caused him to have seizures.
    Throughout Collings’ childhood and adolescence, his birth parents were in and out
    of jail and prison, and in and out of his life. Collings had supervised visits with his mother, until she was returned to custody on a parole violation. When Dale was paroled, he arranged a visit with Collings, then six years old. Around this time, Collings was molested by his baby-sitter’s 13-year-old son. 4). At age seven, he attempted suicide.

    When Collings was eight, Clarence and Betty adopted him. Clarence was ambivalent about the adoption and worried that Dale would cause problems. But Betty thought that since Collings had been with them seven years, it would only be right to adopt him. She also thought the adoption would strengthen her marriage with Clarence.

    When Collings was nine, Betty and Clarence separated, then divorced two years later. Although custody was awarded to Betty, Collings was often shuttled back and forth between his parents. Collings would
    get out of control and tear things up. He snuck out and stayed out

    At age fourteen or fifteen, Collings started using drugs and alcohol. He was placed on house arrest for forging checks. He was failing his classes, got suspended for six weeks for disruptive behavior, and had to repeat ninth grade.

    At fifteen, Collings returned to his biological mother, Barbara, for two months. But the reunion was ill-fated, and eventually Barbara told Collings he could never come back. During this time, Barbara’s new husband sodomized Collings.

    Collings was getting increasingly destructive, and his adoptive parents did not know what to do. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for almost two months.Collings was given the Axis I diagnoses of intermittent explosive disorder; dysthymia, major depression, recurrent; parent child problems;
    academic problems; and conduct disorder; solitary aggressive type. His global assessment of functioning was 35 on a scale of 100, indicating major impairment. He still wet his bed. Collings was prescribed
    medication, but he stopped taking them soon after leaving the hospital. Although he was supposed to attend psychotherapy sessions, he only went to two. A psychologist recommended that Collings not re-enter
    school until he was more stable emotionally, so Collings was schooled at home.

    At sixteen, Collings lived with Clarence, his adoptive father, but Clarence had remarried, and Collings did not get along with the new wife, Diane. He physically assaulted Diane and his step-sister Julie. He also assaulted an 11-year-old boy.

    Collings admitted the assaults and was given probation and house arrest. He tried Job Corps but was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Collings was stuck at the maturity level of a fourteen or fifteen year old. He violated his probation, was committed to DYS, and was sent to live in a juvenile detention center. There, it was determined that Collings was not succeeding in school; was under-socialized; did not know how to get along with others; seemed lonely, scared, and confused; and had poor hygiene.

    At seventeen, still under DYS jurisdiction, Collings improved. His reading level improved to an eighth grade level. It was recommended that he receive special education and one-on-one help. In the next few years, he was placed in special education classes and a group home.

    When Collings was eighteen, he lived with Dale, his biological father. Thereafter, Collings moved back and forth between Dale and his adoptive parents, Clarence and Betty. He admitted to sexually fondling his step-sister Julie when she was 11, and then again at 14 and 16. This behavior was consistent with someone who was sexually abused himself when younger.

    At eighteen, Collings had his first child, Sarah. He would have three more children before having a vasectomy at age 28.

    Over defense objection, the State asked Dale whether he believed in the death penalty and elicited that when Dale’s brother was murdered, Dale wanted to kill the person who murdered him.

    For most of his adult life, Collings has had an alcohol problem.At times, he awoke in a ditch or someone’s yard without knowing how he got there.

    At age 22, he obtained his GED and got a job.Collings also cared for Clarence in his ill health.. Clarence had a blood disorder that required him to get a shot once a week. Collings and his adoptive brother took turns giving Clarence his shots. His adoptive mother, Betty, died two weeks before Rowan’s death.

    Dr. Wanda Draper, an expert in the field of human development, explained that Collings was handicapped developmentally by the lack of attachment with parental figures in the first six months of his life and beyond.
    Collings did not meet developmental expectations growing up. His attachment problems continued when his adoptive family went through the trauma of losing a child, and then Collings suffered through his adoptive parents’ separation and adopted or, instead, returned to one of his birth parents.

    As further mitigation, the defense presented evidence regarding David Spears’ possible involvement in Rowan’s death. Myrna Spears, David Spears’ mother, testified that on the night Rowan disappeared, her son David called her at about midnight, and in response, she drove her Suburban to his house. David left in his pickup, returned a short while later, and took the Suburban, while she stayed at the house. David returned by 7 a.m. Two dogs trained to alert at the scent of human remains alerted at the Suburban. Both dogs separately alerted at the driver’s side door and the left rear quadrant. Inside the Suburban, they alerted at the driver’s seat and rear cargo area.

    Verdict and Sentence

    The jury recommended death. It found that the murder involved torture and, as a result, was outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible and inhuman, and that Rowan was killed as a result of her status as a potential witness/ The court imposed death. Notice of appeal was timely filed.


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  5. #25
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    Cousin Randy Turner is offline gliberal whigger butthole fag Veteran Member Cousin Randy Turner has a little shameless behaviour in the past
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    Default Supreme Court rejects child-killer's request for rehearing on death penalty appeal

    Supreme Court rejects child-killer's request for rehearing on death penalty appeal



    The Missouri Supreme Court Tuesday rejected child-killer Chris Collings' motion for a rehearing of his appeal of his death penalty conviction.

    Collings, 40, was sentenced to death for the November 2, 2007, murder of nine-year-old Rowan Ford, a fourth grader at Triway Elementary School in Stella.

    The court heard arguments in the case January 8, with public defenders representing Collings asking that he either be granted a new trial, be sentenced to second degree murder instead of first degree, or resentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

    The attorneys cited a number of reasons for the requests including the following, all of which were rejected by the judges.

    -Collings did not confess voluntarily. "Law enforcement officers exploited the close friendship Collings had with Wheaton Police Chief Clinton Clark." The petition also says law enforcement took advantage of Collings' fear of vigilante justice.

    -Clark kept Collings talking even though he was aware Collings had an attorney.

    -The prosecution failed to prove an element of first degree murder, that Collings had "coolly reflected" before killing Rowan Ford. Testimony indicated that Collings "freaked out" when he realized that Rowan had recognized him after he raped her.

    -The judge should not have allowed the prosecution to show "excessively gruesome and prejudicial" photos of Rowan Ford.

    -The judge should have declared a mistrial after the prosecutor simulated the strangulation of Rowan Ford in front of the jury.

    -Chris Collings has shown "deep remorse" and "accepted responsibility" for the murder.


    Posted by Randy at 5:59 PM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2014


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    Default Lawyer: Rowan Ford's killer should be spared because he was drunk


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  7. #27
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    Default Court Upholds Conviction in Rowan Ford's Murder

    Court Upholds Conviction in Rowan Ford's Murder

    Updated: Mar 06, 2018 2:51 PM CST
    By Stacie Strader


    The perverted critter coonfessed to the rape-murder before trial.


    The man convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford has lost his second appeal.

    The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence for Christopher Collings. Judges ruled unanimously today (March 6) to reject arguments that Christopher Collings' previous attorneys were not effective in defending him over the November 2007 death of Rowan Ford.

    The girl's body was found in a cave in McDonald County in November of 2007, a week after she was reported missing from her Stella home. Her stepfather, David Spears, was also charged with murder and rape but pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child endangerment and hindering prosecution.

    Collings' new lawyers argued that his previous attorneys didn't call enough expert witnesses and didn't challenge DNA evidence, among other things. But judges ruled the trial attorneys made reasonable decisions and that Collings' didn't prove the case would have ended differently.

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