Death penalty sought against accused child killer

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. - A man charged with the abduction, rape, and murder of a 10-year-old girl may face the death penalty.

A Greene County prosecutor announced Friday he plans to seek the death penalty against 46-year-old Craig Michael Wood. He's accused of killing Hailey Owens earlier this year.

The Springfield News-Leader reported Friday Prosecutor Dan Patterson called the death "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind," which is one of several aggravating circumstances that can make a case eligible for the death penalty.

Hailey Owens was kidnapped near her home Feb. 18. Her body was found later that evening in Wood's basement.

Wood pleaded not guilty Friday to all charges against him. His next court date is August 26. Wood is not expected to go on trial for at least one year.


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