Wood is charged with 1st degree murder, armed criminal action and child kidnapping of 10-year-old Hailey Owens, whose body was found in a plastic tote in Wood’s basement on Feb. 18. After autopsy results were filed, on April 21 Wood also was charged with 1st degree rape and first degree sodomy of a child under 12. Wood was taken in to custody the same evening that the alleged kidnapping took place. The license plate of the truck he was driving was given to police by persons who witnessed the abduction.
The Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty informs the Defendant of the State’s intent to seek the ultimate punishment. If a jury finds that at least one aggravating circumstance is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury can consider imposing a death sentence.
The notice was filed during Wood’s arraignment today before Judge J. Dan Conklin in Greene County Circuit Court. Wood waived reading of the charges and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Judge Conklin scheduled a pre-trial conference for Aug. 26.
The statutory aggravating circumstances alleged by the state in this case are:
1. The murder in the first degree was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind.
2. The murder in the first degree was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or custody in a place of lawful confinement, of defendant.
3.The murder in the first degree was committed while the defendant was engaged in the perpetration of or the attempt to perpetrate a felony of any degree of rape, sodomy, or kidnapping.
4. The murdered individual was a witness or potential witness in any past or pending investigation or past or pending prosecution, and was killed as a result of her status as a witness or potential witness.
Patterson cautioned that the charges contained in the felony information are merely allegations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Wood is being held in Greene County Jail. He is being represented by attorney Patrick Berrigan of Kansas City.
This case is being prosecuted by Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson.
It is being investigated by the Springfield Police Dept., and Detective Neal McAmis is the lead investigator assigned to the case.