Mo. coach charged in girl’s death heads to court

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A middle-school football coach accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in southwest Missouri is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Craig Michael Wood is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action in the Springfield shooting death of fourth-grader Hailey Owens.

Police say Hailey was snatched off a neighborhood street Tuesday afternoon less than two blocks from her home as she walked back from her best friend’s house. Her body was found in Wood’s basement.

Memories of the child are mixed with anger and shock in Springfield as the community tries to make sense of the brutal crime that took her life. Thousands are expected to attend a downtown candlelight vigil in her honor scheduled for Saturday night.

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