Arraignment set for Arizona man in girl's death

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Justin James Rector By Jennifer Thomas Justin James Rector By Jennifer Thomas

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.

Justin Rector is being held at the Mohave County jail without bond. The 26-year-old was arrested near a Bullhead City store shortly after the family of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella reported her missing Sept. 2.

Authorities have described Rector as a family friend who was staying at Isabella's home at the time she disappeared. He has a lengthy criminal history.

Rector is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a dead body. Medical examiners determined that Isabella was strangled.

Mohave County Deputy Attorney Greg McPhillips said he is awaiting lab results before deciding whether to seek the death penalty against Rector. The county does not have any other defendants facing capital murder, the Mohave Valley Daily News reported.

Rector appeared in court Thursday for a hearing to determine whether video and still cameras would be allowed in the courtroom for Friday's arraignment. McPhillips and Rector's attorney, Harry Moore, opposed the request from Las Vegas television stations and a local newspaper, saying it would make seating an impartial jury difficult.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen barred camera coverage for Friday's hearing but set a Sept. 30 hearing to determine whether cameras would be allowed at future hearings.


Information from: Mohave Valley Daily News,

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.