Jury selection begins for man accused of killing Hailey Owens
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The trial of a middle-school football coach charged with kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl is getting underway in Springfield.
Opening statements are set for Monday in Craig Wood's trial on charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, child kidnapping, rape and sodomy.
Police say fourth-grader Hailey Owens was snatched off a neighborhood street in February 2014 less than two blocks from her home as she walked back from her best friend's house. Several neighbors unsuccessfully attempted to rescue the child, chasing the suspect on foot and by car.
Her body was found inside two garbage bags inside a plastic storage tote in Wood's basement. Besides coaching, Wood also was a substitute teacher and teacher's aide. Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Wood if he's convicted of murder.