Death Penalty Sought in Hailey Owens Case


Published 06/20 2014 11:24AM

Updated 06/20 2014 10:56PM

(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) Prosecutors filed notice Friday they intend to seek the death penalty against the man accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Craig Michael Wood was back before a Greene County judge for arraignment.  He entered the formal plea during the hearing.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson filed notice with the court that he intends to seek the death penalty against Wood, citing aggravating circumstances in the death of Hailey Owens. 

Hailey was grabbed off the street near her home. Several hours later,  her body was found in the basement of a house on E. Stanford where Wood lived.

"A death penalty case is very similar to other murder cases however the stakes are very high so we want to make sure we have thoroughly reviewed all the evidence," Patterson told KOLR10 News after Friday's hearing.

Hailey's Great-grandmother, Linda Minor, was in the courtroom for the proceeding.  "It's hard to sit in there and watch him and him say "not guilty" to all the things he has done to Hailey." 
Wood is charged with murder, armed criminal action, child kidnapping, rape or attempted rape, and sodomy or attempted sodomy.

Patterson, in his court filing Friday, said the murder of Hailey was "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind..." as one of the aggravating circumstances.

After a preliminary hearing last month, a judge ruled there is enough evidence to hold Craig for trial.

Wood's next court appearance is set for August 26.  He is being held in the Greene County Jail without bond.

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