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Missouri Supreme Court upholds death penalty in Hailey Owens' murder

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A majority of judges have agreed to deny Craig Wood a second trial and have upheld the death penalty. Wood was convicted in the murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens in Springfield, Missouri.

Wood's attorney argued that because the judge, not jurors, decided on the death penalty - it was unconstitutional. His attorney says that Missouri is one of only two states (Indiana) allowing a judge to impose a death sentence, after jurors can't agree on the sentence. Other states follow the federal procedure that a defendant is sentenced to life in prison if jurors are deadlocked.

Five Missouri Supreme Court justices disagreed today, writing that "the man's death sentence is not disproportionate and did not result from passion, prejudice or other arbitrary factor."

The Court's decision summary is online at http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=142465.

Wood was convicted in 2017 of first degree murder of Hailey Owens, who was killed in February 2014. She was walking home from school when Wood called her over to his truck and grabbed her.

Her body was found in Wood's home in Springfield wrapped in black plastic, stuffed into a large plastic tub. She died of a gunshot wound to the head.
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