School coach charged with murder in Missouri girl's abduction


spaminator
#1
School coach charged with murder in Missouri girl's abduction
Kevin Murphy, Reuters
First posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:23 PM EST | Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 08:57 PM EST
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri prosecutor on Wednesday charged an elementary school coach with first degree murder in the death of a 10-year-old girl who had gone missing, hours after authorities said they recovered her body at his home.
Craig Michael Wood, 45, was charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action and child kidnapping in the abduction of Hailey Owens, said Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson.
"To apprehend this offender in just over three hours is a remarkable response," Patterson told a news conference. "It is a tragedy that it was not quick enough to save Hailey. But I don't believe there is anything else they could have done in this case."
Witnesses said Hailey was walking down a street shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday as a man driving a pickup truck pulled alongside her. She ignored him at first but then began talking to him, at which point he pulled her into his vehicle and sped off, witnesses told police.
Some people gave chase on foot and a motorist followed the pickup but lost it in traffic, Williams said. Witness calls to police about the abduction triggered multiple Amber Alerts in Missouri and neighbouring states.
Police found the registered owner of the truck, who identified Wood as the likely driver. They staked out the residence where Wood lived and questioned him when he got home. He was taken to police headquarters at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and arrested three hours later.
Police said they found Hailey's body in a plastic storage tote in the basement of Wood's home with a gunshot to the head and ligature marks on her arms.
Wood is not answering questions from investigators about the alleged crime or motive.
Police said there was no reason to believe Wood and the girl knew each other. Wood has a drug charge on his record.
Wood has worked in Springfield public schools since 1998 and was a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 school, Superintendent Norm Ridder said in statement posted on the district's website on Wednesday. Wood has been suspended, pending the results of the investigation, he said.
Hailey attended Westport Elementary School, Ridder said. Police officers and extra counsellors were called in on Wednesday to help students cope with the tragedy.
Greene County Missouri Sheriff's Office photo shows Craig Michael Wood who was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder in Springfield, Mo., on February 18, 2014. (REUTERS/Greene County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters)

School coach charged with murder in Missouri girl's abduction | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
damngrumpy
#2
This has to be the ultimate betrayal of trust, this guy should face first degree murder
and suffer the worst. I know justice is about the individual and this individual took a
little child and killed her for his own twisted reasons. Once he took her he entered
into a plan for personal purpose and that is first degree
 
Walter
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

This has to be the ultimate betrayal of trust, this guy should face first degree murder
and suffer the worst. I know justice is about the individual and this individual took a
little child and killed her for his own twisted reasons. Once he took her he entered
into a plan for personal purpose and that is first degree

That's what he is charged with.
 
spaminator
#4
Coach to plead not guilty in girl's murder
Kevin Murphy, Reuters
First posted: Friday, February 21, 2014 03:39 PM EST | Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 06:52 PM EST
A seventh-grade football coach was ordered held without bail on Friday and will plead not guilty to the kidnap and murder of a 10-year-old girl snatched off a Springfield, Missouri, street and later found dead in his basement, his lawyer said.
Craig Michael Wood, 45, accused of abducting Hailey Owens from a neighbourhood in Springfield, made his first court appearance on Friday over a video monitor from the Greene County Jail.
Witnesses said Hailey was walking along a street shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday when a man driving a pickup truck pulled alongside her. She ignored him at first but then began talking to him, at which point he pulled her into his vehicle and sped off, witnesses told police.
Some people gave chase on foot and a motorist followed the pickup, but lost it in traffic, Williams said. Witness calls to police about the abduction triggered multiple Amber Alerts in Missouri and neighbouring states.
Police said they found Hailey's body the following day in a plastic storage tote in Wood's basement with a bullet wound to her head. There was evidence he had attempted to clean up the basement area with bleach, police said.
Wood was formally charged in Greene County Associate Court on Friday with murder, child abduction and armed criminal action. He was ordered held without bond and a preliminary hearing in the case was set for April 7.
Public defender Christopher Hatley said that Wood would plead not guilty to all charges, although no official plea was received by the court on Friday, according to a clerk and court records. Hatley later said that a formal plea was required at the next hearing.
Wood was a paraprofessional and seventh-grade coach of boys' football and basketball at a Springfield K-8 school, according to a spokeswoman for the public school system. Hailey attended a different school, and there was no evidence she knew Wood, authorities said.
PORNOGRAPHIC IMAGES
Search warrant documents released on Friday showed that police found a three-ring binder in Wood's house containing "pornographic images of young children." Police also found video cameras, DVDs and VHS tapes, but no further details on them were in the report. Wood had more than 20 guns in the house, according to a property list attached to the warrant.
Springfield police officer Chris Barb said in an affidavit for the search warrant that suspects in child killings and abductions often possess or watch child pornography.
Jeff Ward, who played high school football with Wood, said he was stunned by the charges, describing Wood as intelligent and coming from a good home, with parents who treated him well.
"He was the last person I thought would do something like this," said Ward, adding that Wood had a girlfriend in high school but not in recent years, and never had children.
"I think he kept to himself a lot," Ward said.
Ward said they had played in a local rock band after high school, with Wood on the guitar. Wood has since played mandolin with another local band and also liked to hunt deer, Ward said.
Wood's parents, Jim and Genie Wood, live in Ash Grove, Missouri, just outside Springfield. He is a retired teacher and his wife a nurse, according to a statement issued on their behalf on Thursday by a family lawyer, Joseph Passanise.
"This unexpected incident involving their son, Craig, has been a shock and they are grieving," the statement said. "They join the rest of the community in praying as their hearts pour out to the Owens family."
A candlelight vigil and march in Hailey's memory is planned on Saturday, according to Springfield police and a Facebook page set up for the event. There are also several fundraisers for Hailey's family.
Greene County Missouri Sheriff's Office photo shows Craig Michael Wood who was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder in Springfield, Missouri on February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Greene County Sheriff's Office/Handout

Coach to plead not guilty in girl's murder | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
shadowshiv
#5
Why do some "people" plead not-guilty when there is overwhelming evidence of their guilt?
 
SLM
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Why do some "people" plead not-guilty when there is overwhelming evidence of their guilt?

It's their right. It is, after all, up to the state/crown to prove the guilt.
 
shadowshiv
+2
#7  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

It's their right. It is, after all, up to the state/crown to prove the guilt.

I know. It's just a waste of the taxpayer's money, and needless stress on the loved ones of the victim.
 
SLM
+2
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

I know. It's just a waste of the taxpayer's money, and needless stress on the loved ones of the victim.

It can be but if they were compassionate, caring people they wouldn't have done what they've been accused of.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

It can be but if they were compassionate, caring people they wouldn't have done what they've been accused of.

Of which he is obviously not. I hope that he is found guilty as quickly as possible.
 
SLM
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Of which he is obviously not. I hope that he is found guilty as quickly as possible.

I'm right there with you.
 
JLM
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshivView Post

Why do some "people" plead not-guilty when there is overwhelming evidence of their guilt?

It spins it out so the defense lawyer can submit a bigger bill and second there's always a slim chance of winning on a technicality. Bet O.J.'s happy he pleaded not guilty, it gave him a few years before things finally caught up to him.
 
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