July 20, 2024

The Lake Tribune

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Missouri Attorney General Seeks Execution Date for Convicted Murderer Christopher Collings

2 min read

Christopher Collings (Photo By Missouri Dept. of Corrections)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (The Lake Tribune) — In a move that could bring a long-awaited close to a horrendous case, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has formally requested the Missouri Supreme Court to schedule an execution date for Christopher Collings. Collings was found guilty of the 2007 abduction, rape, and murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford in Stella, Missouri.

The gruesome crime, which shocked and saddened the community, saw Collings abducting Ford from Newton County, subjecting her to unspeakable acts before ending her life. Collings then disposed of her body in a sinkhole near Powell in McDonald County, to conceal his horrific deeds. The investigation revealed Collings attempted to destroy evidence by burning the rope used to strangle Ford, his blood-stained clothing, and his mattress. His eventual confession to the police brought this chilling case to a climax, leading to his conviction.

During the trial, held in Phelps County with a Platte County jury, the horrifying details of Ford’s torture were laid bare. Jurors determined that Collings murdered the young girl to eliminate any risk of her testifying against him, a fact that contributed to the decision on his conviction and sentencing.

Attorney General Bailey’s request comes after exhaustive reviews of Collings’ conviction and sentencing by several courts including the Missouri Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout these reviews, no legal errors were found.

Following Bailey’s motion, Collings’ defense will be able to respond. Should the Missouri Supreme Court decide to proceed with the execution, the date will be set out for 90 to 120 days following the court’s order. This case continues to evoke strong emotions within the community, as it moves towards its final legal resolution.

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