Defense questions death sentence for girl's rapist, killer

Posted: Updated:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -

The attorney for a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing a 10-year-old Missouri girl says his death sentence should be overturned.

Jurors found 51-year-old Craig Wood guilty last year of first-degree murder for the February 2014 death of Hailey Owens in Springfield. His attorney told the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday that the process used to impose the death sentence wasn't constitutional. The issue is that jurors couldn't decide whether to sentence Wood to death or life in prison without parole. That left the decision in the hands of the judge who oversaw Wood's trial.

Missouri and Indiana are the only states where a judge can impose a death sentence. Other states follow the federal procedure that a defendant is sentenced to life in prison if jurors are deadlocked.

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

  • On Your SideMore>>

  • KAKE NEWS INVESTIGATES: The connection between flooding and farming methods

    KAKE NEWS INVESTIGATES: The connection between flooding and farming methods

    “We have to work with nature, we can't fight it,” Doug Hisken, a Belle Plaine area farmer said about this year’s overly wet weather leading to flooding problems across much of the state. From rising prices at the grocery store, extra-long commutes due to road closures to the tax dollars spent repairing those flood damaged roads, this year's wet start has taken a heavy toll on all Kansans. “Everybody took it on the chin this year,” said Darin Williams, a...

    “We have to work with nature, we can't fight it,” Doug Hisken, a Belle Plaine area farmer said about this year’s overly wet weather leading to flooding problems across much of the state. From rising prices at the grocery store, extra-long commutes due to road closures to the tax dollars spent repairing those flood damaged roads, this year's wet start has taken a heavy toll on all Kansans. “Everybody took it on the chin this year,” said Darin Williams, a...

  • Sedgwick County decides to add lights to stop signs at 183rd and MacArthur

    Sedgwick County decides to add lights to stop signs at 183rd and MacArthur

    "People are going to be a lot safer with that light flashing up there," said Dean Berg about plans to install a flashing light above the stop signs on 183rd St at MacArthur Road. After another serious accident at the intersection the county is now trying something different to warn drivers about an upcoming stop sign, though county engineers say the real problem is with distracted drivers, not signage.

    "People are going to be a lot safer with that light flashing up there," said Dean Berg about plans to install a flashing light above the stop signs on 183rd St at MacArthur Road. After another serious accident at the intersection the county is now trying something different to warn drivers about an upcoming stop sign, though county engineers say the real problem is with distracted drivers, not signage.

  • Reno County Commission rejects wind farm

    Reno County Commission rejects wind farm

    The Reno County Commission has denied the permit for a wind farm to be built in the southern quadrant of the county.

    The Reno County Commission has denied the permit for a wind farm to be built in the southern quadrant of the county.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE