GREENE COUNTY, Mo. - Court officials haven't yet decided when the man accused of killing Hailey Owens might go to trial, but it is slated to include a jury from outside Greene County and will probably last a month.
Prosecutors and the defense team for Craig Michael Wood, 46, have argued about whether the case should remain in Greene County, but Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson presented a plan in court Tuesday to keep the trial local and bring in a jury from another county. Attorneys for both sides will now negotiate to determine which county will be used.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Wood, who is charged with murder, kidnapping, rape, sodomy and armed criminal action.
Patterson also asked Judge Dan Conklin to set a jury trial date for April, but Wood's attorney, Patrick Berrigan, objected, saying he's still waiting for evidence from prosecutors.
A previous piece of information the defense had requested was a copy of the transcript from a preliminary hearing. The transcript had come into question when the court reporter on the hearing died before the transcript was completed. Prosecutors said in a reply that another court reporter was able to finish the transcript, apparently resolving the issue.
Conklin expressed interest in getting a trial date blocked off, because both sides estimated the month time period for a jury trial.
Officials say Hailey, 10, was taken from her neighborhood on Feb. 18. Her body was found hours later wrapped in garbage bags in Wood's basement. A medical examiner said she died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The examiner also said there was evidence of sexual assault.
Craig Michael Wood is no longer a Springfield Public Schools employee.
A personnel update provided to the school board as part of Tuesday's regular meeting notes Wood has been "separated" — a term used for interchangeably for resignation or termination.
Wood had been on unpaid administrative leave following the arrest and charges earlier this year. The entry notes Wood, a coach and teaching assistant who supervised in-school suspension at Pleasant View Elementary and Middle School, has worked for the district since 1998.
It notes the "separation" was effective May 28.