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KINGMAN - More than $900,000 taxpayer dollars have been spent on the four defense teams that have represented an alleged child killer for more than four years.

And 30-year-old Justin Rector now wants to go without lawyers and represent himself in further court proceedings.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen quickly told the defendant during a Dec. 4 hearing that self representation is not a good idea. “He who represents himself in Court has a fool for a client,” said Jantzen, citing a famous legal adage.

Jantzen advised Rector that he does enjoy a Constitutional right to serve as his own lawyer. He directed Indigent Services to appoint an attorney whose limited purpose will be to advise Rector on the risk and danger of self representation.

Jantzen said the representation question will be revisited during a Dec. 18 hearing. He reminded Rector that he faces life behind bars if convicted in the Sept., 2014 murder of his former friend’s daughter, eight-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella.

Neither Rector nor his current lawyer Julia Cassels offered any explanation to the Court regarding his wish for self representation. During a taped telephone call from the county jail more than four years ago, Rector told his father he wanted to plead guilty to the killing.

“I’m trying to man up and take responsibility for once,” Rector told his dad, James Rector. “It’s about accepting responsibility for my actions…That’s all I keep thinking about is that poor little girl that didn’t deserve it. That poor little girl.”

Prosecutor Greg McPhillips takes no position regarding Rector’s bid for self representation. He told Judge Jantzen, however, that the state is adamant about going to trial as scheduled on April 29, 2019.

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