The Latest: Jury convicts man in kidnapping, death of girl

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Latest on the trial of a former middle school coach accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old Missouri girl (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

A former middle school football coach has been found guilty of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a Missouri neighbourhood in front of horrified witnesses before raping and killing her.

Jurors convicted 49-year-old Craig Wood on Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2014 death of Hailey Owens. Jurors will hear more arguments before deciding whether to recommend the death sentence.

The defence didn't dispute that Wood killed the girl, but contended that Wood didn't deliberate first, as prosecutors allege.

During the trial, a witness testified that he was raking leaves when he saw Wood pull Hailey into a pickup truck. The man was unable to get to the girl. His wife called 911 and reported the truck's license plate, which led police to Wood's home. Hailey's body was in the basement.

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12 p.m.

Jurors are deliberating in the case of a former middle school football coach accused of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a Missouri neighbourhood in front of horrified witnesses before raping and killing the child.

The attorney for 49-year-old Craig Wood argued during closing arguments Thursday that the 2014 death of Hailey Owens was unplanned. Prosecutors scoffed at the argument, noting the girl was bound and shot in the back of her head.

During the trial, a witness testified that he was raking leaves when he saw Wood pull Hailey into a pickup truck. The man ran after the truck but was unable to get to the girl. His wife called 911 and reported the truck's license plate.

Hailey's body was found in Wood's basement.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


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