October 2016 trial date set in Bullhead City murder case

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Justin James Rector By Jennifer Thomas Justin James Rector By Jennifer Thomas

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) -- An October 2016 trial date has been set for a man accused in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl in northwestern Arizona.

A Mohave County grand jury earlier indicted 26-year-old Justin James Rector on felony counts of first-degree murder, child abuse, abandonment of a dead body and kidnapping a minor under the age of 15.

After a status conference Tuesday, an Oct. 16 trial date was set.

A federal public defender assigned to Rector's case says the defendant is requesting to withdraw his motion to represent himself.

Rector was arrested near a Bullhead City store shortly after the family of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella reported her missing Sept. 2.

The girl's body was found the next day in a shallow grave near her home. Authorities say she was strangled.

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