Former defense attorneys subpoenaed in Rector case

February 8, 2019

KINGMAN – Former attorneys for accused murderer Justin James Rector received subpoenas Monday to appear in court for an evidentiary hearing in light of the defendant’s claim that his previous counsels withheld information regarding his case.

Rector wrote a letter to the court claiming that his previous counsels withheld disclosure information such as physical and forensic testing results. Rector said he hadn’t been provided that information as of late January.

Rector had pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder after deciding to represent himself in the case. Under the plea deal, charges of kidnapping and child abuse were dismissed. However, in light of his claims, Judge Lee Jantzen vacated Rector’s Jan. 30 judgment and sentencing to allow for an evidentiary hearing March. 4.

“I don’t want to drag this case out any longer, I want to be sentenced on Wednesday,” Rector said a few days before his sentencing was scheduled to take place. “I just feel that I was treated unfairly, and I want it to be on record that I was.”

Rector is charged with murdering 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella of Bullhead City in September 2014. Thirty-year-old Rector was a guest in Isabella’s home when she was reported missing. Her body was found in a shallow grave nearby.

According to court documents, attorneys Julia Cassels and Quinn Jolly each were subpoenaed to appear in court for the evidentiary hearing set for 9 a.m. March 4. Chief investigator James Valdez was also subpoenaed, as was mitigator and investigator Rennee DeSaye.

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