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KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — Mohave County prosecutors are asking a court to decide whether to grant a news reporter's request for release of autopsy records and photos of an 8-year-old homicide victim.
The American Red Cross has planned several blood drives to take place across the East Valley into December.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — A Mohave County prosecutor says he'll seek the death penalty against a man charged in the murder of an Arizona girl.
Justin Rector has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was arrested shortly after the body of 8-year-old Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella was found near her home in Bullhead City.
The notice of intent to seek the death penalty was filed Wednesday, the same day Rector appeared in court asking a judge to let him represent himself.
The judge made no decision on the request but ordered that Rector undergo testing to determine his level of competency. Rector's attorney, Harry Moore, says Rector's prolonged methamphetamine use might impact his client's ability to aid in his defense.
Rector told police he smoked meth on Sept. 2 when Isabella was reported missing.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- A man charged in the disappearance and death of an Arizona girl wants to represent himself in the case.
Looking for movie stars and jet-setters on the Italian island of Ischia
Lobby of the L’Albergo della Regina Isabella hotel. [Courtesy of Steve Bergsman]
Looking down on small harbor at the L’Albergo della Regina Isabella hotel. [Courtesy of Steve Bergsman]
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Police in northwestern Arizona are looking into whether the mother of an 8-year-old girl who was killed last month supplied methamphetamine to the man charged with her death.
Justin Rector has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was arrested after the body of Isabella Grogan-Cannella was found Sept. 3 in a shallow grave near her Bullhead City home.
Police say they later learned that Isabella's mother, 29-year-old Tania Grogan, and her stepfather, 28-year-old Ralph Folster III, had been selling heroin and methamphetamine. They were arrested Wednesday on drug charges.
Rector told police he had been smoking meth on the day Isabella went missing.
Police also arrested Folster's mother, Freddie Nicholson, on charges of transporting and possessing dangerous drugs. Nicholson was in Isabella's home when the girl disappeared.
Isabella Gordian, 5, colors her paper plate maracas during the Tempe Tardeada festival at Tempe Community Complex on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014.
Isabella Gordian, 5, (left) and Monique Perez, 5, color their paper plate maracas during the Tempe Tardeada festival at Tempe Community Complex on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — Lawyers for a Bullhead City man charged in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl are asking a court for $10,000 to pay for a psychological evaluation.
The Mohave County Public Defender's Office said in court papers released Friday that 26-year-old Justin James Rector "does suffer some mental health issues."
Rector has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death and disappearance of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella.
Her partially clothed body was found Sept. 3, a day after she was reported missing from her Bullhead City home.
Prosecutors say they are considering seeking the death penalty in the case.
Authorities describe Rector as a family friend who was staying at Isabella's home at the time she disappeared
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — A judge is refusing to allow video and photographic cameras in the courtroom during proceedings in the case of a Bullhead City man charged in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl.
Judge Lee Jantzen of Mohave County Superior Court on Tuesday rejected news outlets' request to allow camera coverage of the case of Justin James Rector.
Rector has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body in the death and disappearance of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella. Her partially clothed body was found Sept. 3, a day after she was reported missing from her Bullhead City home.
Jantzen ruled that allowing cameras would affect the ability to find a fair and impartial jury panel and that logistics of the courtroom in Kingman would make it difficult for the media to avoid showing jurors or juvenile witnesses. Additionally, the judge cited concern for the dignity of the proceedings.
"People act differently" when cameras are present, the judge said.
Attorney Monica Limon-Wynn, representing KVVU-TV of Las Vegas, argued that allowing cameras would keep the public informed. She said one camera could be shared by multiple stations.
Prosecutor Greg McPhillips and defense attorney Harry Moore opposed allowing cameras.
McPhillips said it would be difficult to seat a jury if photographs and video footage of the trial were allowed, while Moore said cameras would incite public sentiment against his client and deprive him of his right to a fair trial.
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — A Bullhead City man charged in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl whose body was found in a shallow grave is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — An 8-year-old girl reported missing from her Arizona home was strangled to death, authorities said Friday as they continued to investigate the case.
The Mohave County medical examiner released the manner of death for Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella on Friday. The cause of death was asphyxiation.
Police found Isabella's body in a shallow grave near her Bullhead City home Wednesday, a day after her family reported her missing.
Isabella was discovered wearing the same green, ruffled, sparkly tank top she had on when she was last seen. However, authorities said she didn't have any clothing on her lower half and they are looking into whether she was the victim of sexual assault.
Justin Rector, a 26-year-old Bullhead City man with a lengthy criminal history, was charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder in her death. Authorities described him as a family friend who was staying at Isabella's home at the time she disappeared. He is being held without bond.
Meanwhile, teachers and administrators at the schools Isabella attended remembered her as friendly, loving, obedient, beautiful and inquisitive.
Diamondback Elementary School Principal Martin Muecke told the Mohave Daily News that Isabella paid close attention to detail when crafting sentences. Her second-grade teacher, Kaycee Larson, said Isabella's favorite subjects were English, language arts and writing.
Desert Valley Elementary School Principal Cynthia Cochran said it's unfortunate others won't get to know Isabella.
"I think anyone who has children or who works with children is devastated by this tragedy," Cochran told the newspaper in Bullhead City, which is on the Arizona-Nevada border about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
Police said they aren't ruling out additional charges or arrests in their investigation into Isabella's disappearance and death.
According to court records, Isabella's mother was not home at the time her daughter went missing. She and others went to Wal-Mart, and she told Isabella and her 10-year-old sister to lie down in bed and watch a movie. The mother of her boyfriend was home with the children, court records state.
Bullhead City Police Chief Brian Williamson said Thursday that the state Department of Child Safety is involved but did not elaborate.
BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Police arrested a man Thursday in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old Arizona girl whose body was discovered in a shallow grave near her home.
Justin James Rector, 26, is being held without bond at the Mohave County jail on murder and kidnapping charges.
Authorities have not said how Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella died or whether the family knows Rector. Bullhead City police confirmed Thursday that her body was found the day before. They planned to release more details about the case at a news conference later Thursday.
Court records indicate Rector has a lengthy criminal record involving a dozen cases in the Bullhead City area between 2006 and 2014. His convictions included disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal damage, aggravated assault, assault and criminal trespassing.
Isabella's family reported her missing early Tuesday after she couldn't be found in their home in Bullhead City, which is on the Arizona-Nevada border some 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
Dozens of police, firefighters and volunteers had joined the search for the girl with dark blond hair and blue eyes. Her mother told authorities that it would be unusual for Isabella to run away or leave without telling an adult, police spokeswoman Emily Fromelt said.
Investigators found no signs of a break-in or struggle at the home.
The residents of the home include Isabella's mother, stepfather and other children who are not Isabella's siblings, police Lt. Jerry Duke said. He added that Isabella's biological father is not in the area.
KNXV-TV reported that investigators served a search warrant at the family's home Thursday morning and could be heard telling people in the residence to come out with their arms up.
An undated photo provided by the Bullhead City Police Department shows Isabella “Bella” Grogan-Cannella, an 8-year-old Bullhead City, Arizona, girl who was reported missing Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.
BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — A search continues in northwestern Arizona for an 8-year-old girl reported missing from her home in Bullhead City.
Police were called to the home of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella early Tuesday when the girl's family couldn't find her in the house.
Police, firefighters and volunteers canvassed the neighborhood and nearby park and river areas, and police Lt. Jerry Duke says other agencies are participating as the search continues Wednesday.
Duke says there's no sign of a break-in but that abduction is a possibility. However, he says nothing is being ruled out at this point.
Authorities say Isabella is about 4-foot-8 and about 85 pounds with shoulder-length dirty blonde hair and blue eyes.
She was last seen wearing a green ruffled sparkly tank top and dark shorts and is possibly barefoot.
(L-R) Ryan Kapis, Hadley Tully and Isabella Carson from Fulton Elementary School get food during the lunch performance of "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" at The Palms Theatre in Mesa on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
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