Trial underway for teacher in kidnap, rape, killing of girl

Hailey Owens

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The trial of a middle-school football coach and substitute teacher charged with kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl is getting underway in Springfield, Missouri.

Craig Wood is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, child kidnapping, rape and sodomy. Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty. Opening statements are set for Monday.

Police say he snatched fourth-grader Hailey Owens from 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.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com