Closing Arguments Expected Thursday in Springfield Child Murder - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Closing Arguments Expected Thursday in Springfield Child Murder Case


    Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday in the trial of a middle-school football coach accused of abducting, raping and killing a 10-year-old Springfield, Missouri girl.
    The prosecution and defense rested Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Craig Wood, who is facing a possible death sentence in the 2014 death of Haley Owens.

    Wood is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, child kidnapping, rape and sodomy.

     Neighbors who witnessed the abduction in February of 2014, tried unsuccessfully rescue Hailey, chasing after the suspect and recording his license plate. The prosecution described Wood going to a store to buy bleach and going to a laundromat to clean his clothes.

    Testimony for the prosecution on Wednesday included evidence about the girl's body being found in Wood's home in February 2014, and an autopsy that found she had been shot and had injuries consistent with sexual abuse.   Hailey's body was found inside two garbage bags inside a plastic storage tote in Wood's basement.     
    Wood's attorney has conceded in in his opening statement Monday that his client kidnapped and killed Haley, but argued for a reduced charge of second-degree murder.
    The defense claimed Wood did not plan to abduct and kill the child, but instead he acted impulsively when he grabbed the girl in broad daylight.

    That's important because it could mean the difference between first-degree and second-degree murder.   The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.     

    The defense rested Wednesday without calling any witnesses. Wood did not testify on his own behalf.

    Besides coaching, Wood also was a substitute teacher and teacher's aide. 

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