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Attorney General's News Release

March 28, 2012

Attorney General Koster announces murder verdict in Barry County case -- jury recommends death sentence after finding Christopher Collings guilty --

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today a Platte County jury has found Christopher Collings of Wheaton, Missouri, guilty of first degree murder in the 2007 death of nine-year-old Rowan Ford of Stella, Missouri.  The jury has recommended Collings receive the death sentence. 

During the guilt phase of the trial, which lasted eight days, the jury heard evidence that during the early morning hours of November 3, 2007, Collings took Rowan from her bedroom and drove her back to his trailer where he raped her and then strangled her with a piece of cord.  He then dumped her body in a McDonald County cave and returned to his home to burn evidence.

The case was moved from Barry County to Platte County on a change of venue.  The jury was selected in Platte County, and bussed to Rolla, where they remained sequestered during the trial and the penalty phase.  Judge Mary Sheffield will sentence Collings on May 11.

Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bock and Attorney General’s Office Investigator Jared Roderick assisted Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox with this case.

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