Jury can’t agree on child killer’s fate; judge to decide

(Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, Pool, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A jury has been unable to reach a unanimous decision about whether to order the execution of a former middle-school football coach convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that jurors heard arguments Monday from prosecutors who urged them to order the death penalty for 49-year-old Craig Wood, whom they had convicted on Thursday of first-degree murder in the February 2014 death of Hailey Owens.

Wood shot Hailey in the back of the head after raping her. Defense attorneys said Wood would actually suffer more if he were given life in prison and had to think every day about the “unthinkable harm” he had done.

Judge Thomas Mountjoy will decide Jan. 11 whether Wood will get the death penalty or life in prison.

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