The Chris Collings murder trial moved into its second day today with prosecutors calling law enforcement officers to make their case that Collings abducted 9 year-old Rowan Ford on the night of Nov. 2, 2007, took her to his home in Barry County, raped and killed her.
The defense has from the outset of the trial indicated that Collings admitted his role in the crime in a series of statements made to investigators in the week following the girl’s murder.
His attorney, Janice Zembles, has been cross examining Newton County sheriff’s investigators about the demeanor of Collings during contacts they had with him while the girl remained missing.
Zembles has said that what the defense intends to show jurors is that Collings was in a highly emotional and confused state of mind, had been consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana, and could not have acted with the deliberation required for a first-degree murder conviction.
The defense is trying to convince jurors that he is guilty of no worse than second degree murder. Second-degree murder can carry up to life in prison, but no death penalty. The trial continues through the day.