Judge denies bid to move Kingman murder trial

Posted at 10:26 AM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 13:26:42-04

A Mohave County judge has denied a request to move a murder trial elsewhere.

Attorneys for Justin James Rector had argued that seating an impartial jury would be nearly impossible because of the gravity of the allegations against him.

He's charged with first-degree murder stemming from the strangulation death of 8-year-old Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella last September. Her body was found in a shallow grave near her Bullhead City home.

Prosecutor Gregory McPhillips says the defense attorneys had no evidence to support their request for moving the trial out of Mohave County.

Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen wrote in an order Friday that the court has ways to ensure that Rector's case is heard by a fair and impartial jury.

Jantzen also denied several other defense motions.