SPRINGFIELD, MO (01/11/18) - We, finally, have a conclusion in the Craig Wood trial. Wood has been sentenced with the death penalty. Wood’s family, along with Hailey’s mother Stacey Herman, was in attendance to hear the results Springfield has been waiting for since 2014. Judge Mountjoy left the courtroom with haunting words.
“I would have to say, I think in this case, a real factor in the death of innocence," said Mountjoy.
Back in November, a jury from Platte County was unable to come to a unanimous decision on the final sentencing of Wood. Before Mountjoy made his decision Wood’s defense team argued that not having a new trial violates Wood’s 6th and 14th amendment.
“In the federal government, in all but two states including us and Indiana, says if you don’t have 12 people that say death than it’s not death," said defense attorney Patrick Berrigan. "It’s either life without parole or we’re going to start all over again.”
But the prosecuting attorney shot back saying that the defense team is belittling the situation.
“In this specific harm that this defendant caused not just to Hailey but to her family, her brother, her teachers, other students in her class, and our community," exclaimed Dan Patterson.
After hearing both sides Mountjoy denied the motion to have a new trial and began his final deliberation of the fate of Craig Wood saying,“This court declares punishment to be death for the murder of Hailey Owens.”
Crying could be heard through the courtroom. Along with Wood’s mother seen embracing her husband asking if he was okay.
Stacey Herman’s attorney told Fox 5 that this has been a long four years for the family of Hailey and that he got what he deserved. We’ve had a number of comments on our Fox 5 Facebook page. Here is a link if you'd like to join the conversation. https://www.facebook.com/Fox5krbk/
Springfield, MO - (1/11/2018)
Judge Thomas Mountjoy has sentenced Craig Wood to death for the kidnapping and murder of Hailey Owens in 2014.
This story is developing. We will have more information on FOX 5 News at 6:30 and 9pm
Back in early November, Craig Wood went on trial and was charged with first degree murder in the death of Hailey Owens after kidnapping her while she was walking home from a friends house. The week long trial ended with the jury unable to make a decision if Wood will spend life in prison or get the death penalty.
In 2014, Hailey Owens’ body was found in the basement of Woods home just hours after she went missing. Witness testimonies were heard in the courtroom of her abduction. And evidence that was found in Woods home, such as; bottles of bleach, blue plastic tubs, and Hailey’s clothes were shown to the jury.
Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson argued that Wood had a thought-out-plan when it came to killing Hailey.
“When you place the muzzle, the end of the barrel of a gun against the back of the head and base of the skull and you pull the trigger there is only one purpose you can have and that’s to kill someone," says Patterson.
Wood’s defense team claimed that he didn’t use a disguise during the abduction and that it was done out of sexual compulsion. “If this was a plan to rape, sodomize, and kill this young girl I don’t see it," says Berrigan. "No disguise at all. None.”
In the courtroom, sobbing could be heard from Hailey’s family and friends as they remember that tragic day.
“When my husband called and told me that there was an amber alert and asked if all the kids were inside the house and asked if Hailey was still there. I told him no that I sent her home," says the mother of Hailey's friend Savannah Taylor.
More of Hailey’s family and teachers took the stand to recognize what they say, the life of a special girl.
Judge Thomas Mountjoy will, now, decide Wood’s fate tomorrow. Mountjoy will decide on two motions filed by the defense. If he denies both he will then rule if Wood will receive life in prison or the death penalty. Fox 5 will have the judges decision as Wood’s trial comes to a conclusion. Tune back in here at 6:30 and 9, tomorrow, for the fate of Craig Wood.