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Mistrial Declared In Slaying of 9-Year-Old

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ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a man accused of raping and killing a 9-year-old girl in 2007.

KYTV in Springfield attributes its report to Phelps County Circuit Court Clerk Jill Cooksey. The trial for Christopher Collings had been scheduled to begin Monday.

Collings and 28-year-old David Spears are charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape in the Nov. 3, 2007, death of Rowan Ford of Stella.

Rowen disappeared from her home in Newton County and her body was found several days later in a cave about 10 miles south in McDonald County.

Collings is being prosecuted in Phelps County on a change of venue. Spears is slated to go to trial in August in Pulaski County.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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