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Effort to toughen rules on first-degree murder of kids

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Some Missouri lawmakers want to make it easier to charge anyone suspected of killing a child with first-degree murder.

The idea stems from the case in Kansas City of Precious Doe. The girl's headless body was found in 2001; she was identified last year as Erica Green.

Her stepfather was initially charged with second-degree murder, but supporters say he could have been charged faster with first-degree murder if Missouri's law were changed.

The bill would add torture, mutilation and other circumstances as reasons to file a first-degree murder charge against anyone accused in a child murder.

Prosecutors would not have to show that the suspect deliberated before carrying out the killing.

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