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Suspect in Bullhead City girl's death seeks to be own lawyer

Posted: 2:33 PM, Dec 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-05 21:33:08Z
Gavel shot

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz.- A man charged in the 2014 slaying of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl is asking to represent himself in court.

Justin James Rector told a Mohave County Superior Court judge on Tuesday that he wants to be his own attorney at his upcoming murder trial.

His request is a surprise move in a case that has been plagued with years of defense attorney turnover and delays.

The 30-year-old faces first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death of Isabella Grogan-Cannella. He also is charged with aggravated assault on a detention officer in jail.

Defense attorney Julia Cassels is asking for outside counsel to discuss with Rector the drawbacks of self-representation.

Prosecutors say they will not delay his scheduled April 29 trial any further.