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Defense costs for Arizona murder suspect nears $1M ahead of April trial

(Flickr/Neil Conway)

KINGMAN, Ariz. — The cost to defend an Arizona murder suspect already is approaching a million dollars and the suspect’s trial isn’t until April.

The Mohave Valley Daily News reports Justin James Rector, of Bullhead City, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse and abandonment of a dead body in the 2014 death of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella.

Rector is charged in another case with three counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly assaulted a detention officer July 17.

Indigent defense services director Blake Schritter says the cost of Rector’s attorney fees so far for the 2018-19 fiscal year that started July 1 is $5,058 and the investigator costs is $1,395.

The updated total cost for Rector’s defense over the four years since Grogan-Cannella’s death is $889,819.

Rector’s murder trial is set to begin April 29, with a pre-trial hearing set for April 5.

Authorities said Isabella had been strangled in September 2014. Her partially clothed body was found in a shallow grave near her home.

The prosecutor had urged the judge to schedule the trial to ensure the rights of the victims. He accused the defense attorney of being uncooperative in setting up interviews.

Rector’s attorney denied the allegation.

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