Rector plans to withdraw guilty plea in 2014 murder

Justin James Rector is accused of murdering 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella in 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Justin James Rector is accused of murdering 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella in 2014. (Courtesy photo)

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A man awaiting sentencing in the death of an 8-year-old Bullhead City girl says he wants to withdraw his plea.

Justin James Rector had pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder after deciding to represent himself in the case. Authorities say Isabella Grogan-Cannella had been strangled in September 2014. Grogan-Cannella has family that lives in the Tusayan and Grand Canyon area.

Rector wrote a brief note to the judge saying the plea agreement was unjust and wants a chance to explain.

A hearing was scheduled Jan. 21 in Kingman. The judge also will take up his request to delay the Jan. 30 sentencing date.

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