rectorThe Bullhead City man facing a possible death sentence if convicted in a high profile child homicide case needs a new lawyer. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen has approved Public Defender Harry Moore’s motion to withdraw as lead counsel in defense of Justin Rector, 26. In a motion filed late Thursday afternoon, Moore stated the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office has a conflict of interest because it previously provided legal representation to the parents of Isabella “Bela” Grogan-Cannella, the eight-year-old girl Rector allegedly asphyxiated and buried early last September. “The Mohave County Public Defender’s Office previously represented Tania Grogan and Ralph Folster, III in criminal matters and Tania Grogan and Ralph Folster III are both significant witnesses for the state of Arizona in this case,” the motion stated. “This raises a situation of successive representation, hampering the ability of the Public Defender’s Office to cross examine each of these witnesses, and to comply with ethical duties of loyalty to prior clients.” The motion said the state took no position on the motion and that Rector did not object to Moore’s withdrawal. Parties to the case waived hearings on the matter and Judge Jantzen approved Moore’s case exit. Mohave County Indigent Defense Administrator Blake Schritter said there are no attorneys within the county who can serve as lead counsel on the case. He said he is in discussion with a contract attorney whom he hopes will formally sign an engagement letter Monday to represent Rector. Schritter said Mohave County Legal Defender Ron Gileo will remain on the case as second chair for Rector. Rector wanted to represent himself and plead guilty late last year, but he changed his mind and kept Moore on board. Telephone conversations recorded at the Mohave County jail that were released to the media this week featured Rector telling his father and a woman named Ashley that he needed to “man up”, take responsibility for his actions and accept his punishment.

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