Court reporter dies before finishing transcript

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Greene County authorities say it’s unclear if the death of a court reporter will affect the trial of a man accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl.

Longtime court reported Jeanette Freeman died June 3 at her home of natural causes. She had taken notes during the preliminary hearing for Craig Wood, who is accused of killing young Hailey Owens of Springfield in February.

The Springfield News-Leader reports prosecutors aren’t sure if Freeman had completed the transcript of the hearing, although she also made an audio recording.

Judge Dan Conklin, who will preside over Wood’s arraignment this week, said a transcript problem could prompt another preliminary hearing, but he is hopeful the questions can be worked out before that is necessary.

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