A jury has recommended the death penalty for a southwest Missouri man who confessed to raping and killing a friend’s 9-year-old stepdaughter.
KYTV reported that the jury took less than an hour Friday evening to decide between a life sentence or death for Christopher Collings, 37, of Wheaton. The judge is not bound by the jury’s recommendation.
Platte County jurors hearing the case in Rolla convicted him Tuesday of 1st-degree murder in the 2007 killing of 9-year-old Rowan Ford, of Stella. Her stepfather, David Spears, is awaiting trial.
During closing arguments Friday afternoon, the prosecution recapped details of the crime and said Collings didn’t deserve mercy because he gave Rowan none.
But the defense urged a life sentence, recounting that Collings was neglected and sexually abused as a child.
(source: Associated Press)