Murder suspect could face death penalty

Rector wants to be his own lawyer.

Bella Grogan-Cannella

Bella Grogan-Cannella

KINGMAN - The man accused of killing an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl in early September has filed court papers requesting he be allowed to act as his own lawyer.

Public Defender Harry Moore filed the document on behalf of Justin James Rector late Monday afternoon.

Rector will get a hearing on the matter at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Rector also asked Judge Lee Jantzen to allow him to waive Moore's representation.

Rector, 26, is accused of strangling Bella Grogan-Cannella on Sept. 2 and burying her partially clad body in a shallow grave not far from her home.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a body.

The Mohave County Attorney is considering whether to subject Rector to the death penalty if he's convicted.

In a related matter, Grogan-Cannella's mother, stepfather and grandmother pleaded not guilty to charges related to selling methamphetamine when they were arraigned Friday.