Former coach convicted of killing Hailey Owens
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Jurors rendered a guilty verdict for a former middle school football coach accused of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a Missouri neighborhood in front of horrified witnesses before raping and killing the child.
The attorney for 49-year-old Craig Wood argued during closing arguments Thursday that the 2014 death of Hailey Owens was unplanned. Prosecutors scoffed at the argument, noting the girl was bound and shot in the back of her head.
During the trial, a witness testified that he was raking leaves when he saw Wood pull Hailey into a pickup truck. The man ran after the truck but was unable to get to the girl. His wife called 911 and reported the truck's license plate.
Hailey's body was found in Wood's basement.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.