(KCTV-TV) Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson announced Wednesday afternoon that he has filed first-degree murder and child kidnapping charges in the death of a 10-year-old Springfield girl abducted while walking to a friend’s home.
Craig Michael Wood, 45, a Springfield school district employee, has been charged with first-degree murder, child kidnapping and armed criminal action. He is accused of planning to kidnap Hailey M. Owens and then fatally shooting her.
“My office is committed to seeking justice for Hailey,” Patterson said.
Under Missouri law, the child-kidnapping charge could allow Patterson to seek the death penalty against Wood if he is convicted of first-degree murder. The only other punishment for a first-degree murder conviction is life behind bars.