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Man charged with killing Bullhead City girl pleads guilty

Posted at 12:18 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 14:18:34-05

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) - A man charged in the killing of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Justin James Rector entered the plea Tuesday after deciding earlier this month to represent himself in the case.

The 30-year-old faces life in prison. Sentencing is set for Jan. 30.

Rector also had been charged with kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death of Isabella Grogan-Cannella, and assaulting a jail officer in 2017. Those charges were dropped as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Rector was a guest in the girl's home when she went missing in September 2014. Police said she had been strangled and left in a shallow grave near her home.

Rector had been scheduled to go on trial in April.