Accused child killer: 'I'm going to plead guilty'

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by Danielle Miller, KVVU-TV

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. -- Justin Rector, who is accused in the 2014 slaying of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl, said he will plead guilty to the crime.

Justin Rector discussed his decision with his father in a jailhouse interview that was made available to the media on Wednesday.

Justin Rector, 26, is being held at Mohave County Jail. Isabella Grogan-Cannella's body was discovered in a shallow grave near her home in September. She had been strangled.

Rector told his father, James Rector, he is ready to take responsibility for his actions.

"I'm going to plead guilty. I was so out of it. I was up for a few days, and I drank a bunch of NyQuil and a bunch of beer to come down, to sleep or whatever, and I was out of it," Justin Rector said.

In the call, Justin Rector tells his father he thought he had hallucinated the ordeal but later remembered what happened to Isabella.

"That's all I keep thinking about: this poor little [expletive] girl that didn't deserve it, that poor little girl," he said.

In another call, Justin Rector spoke with a woman identified as Ashley. In the call, which took place on Nov. 6, Ashley told Justin Rector to listen to his attorneys and then asked if police have evidence beyond a footprint discovered near Isabella's body.

"They have me on camera at a store, throwing a shovel into a dumpster," Justin Rector said.

"I think I liked it better when I just thought you were in the wrong place at the wrong time," Ashley replied.

In the call, Ashley said she believed Justin Rector was covering for someone else.

"You can rat people out. It's OK, we'll protect you," she said.

In a second call between Justin Rector and his father, which took place on Nov. 14, Justin Rector told his father he didn't wish to visit with or even speak with anyone anymore. He said his family wasn't supporting his decision to plead guilty.

Justin Rector is slated to go to trial on Oct. 17, 2016. He initially requested he be allowed to defend himself but has since withdrawn that request.