Penalty phase starts for Missouri man guilty of girl's death

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -

Jurors who convicted a Missouri man of kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl are hearing arguments about whether he should be put to death.

Craig Wood was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the February 2014 death of Hailey Owens. The Springfield News-Leader reports the penalty phase of his trial began Friday and is expected to last into next week.

Wood's attorneys conceded he killed the girl but argued he acted impulsively when he snatched her off a Springfield street in broad daylight in front of horrified witnesses. Her body was later found in the basement of Wood's home.

The case prompted an Amber Alert in Kansas in February 2014.

Before the sentencing phase began Friday, the judge ruled prosecutors could present evidence of how the girl's death affected the Springfield community. Defense attorneys had asked that such testimony be excluded.
 

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