Mo. stepfather invokes Fifth in friend's trial

ROLLA, Mo. (AP) — A man charged with killing his 9-year-old stepdaughter has invoked his right not to incriminate himself during the trial of another man charged in the girl's death.

The defense for 37-year-old Christopher Collings called 29-year-old David Spears to the stand Saturday to testify. Both men are charged with raping and murdering Spears' 9-year-old stepdaughter, Rowan Ford, of Stella, in November 2007.

The Joplin Globe ( reported that after Spears invoked the Fifth Amendment, Collings' defense obtained a finding from the judge that Spears had made himself unavailable as a witness.

The trial will continue Monday in Phelps County, where the case was being heard on a change of venue from Barry County. The jurors were chosen in Platte County and are being sequestered.

Spears is scheduled to be tried separately.


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