A jury in southwest Missouri’s Springfield is deadlocked on the fate of an Ash Grove man convicted of raping and murdering ten-year-old Hailey Owens in 2014.
Missourinet Springfield television partner KOLR-10 and Missourinet Springfield radio affiliate KSGF Radio (FM 104.1) report the jury could not come up with a unanimous decision regarding sentencing on Monday.
The jury got the case at about 12:15 Monday afternoon, and deliberated for about four hours.
The jury convicted 49-year-old Craig Wood of first degree murder last week.
Under Missouri law, the only options for a first degree murder conviction are death by lethal injection or life in prison without parole.
KSGF reports Greene County Judge Thomas Mountjoy says the defense has to file a motion for a new sentencing trial by December 1, and that a hearing motion is scheduled for December 11.
Judge Mountjoy will sentence Wood at a later date, probably in early 2018. That’s because Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board will need time to write what is known as a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR).
University of Missouri forensic pathologist Dr. Carl Stacy testified during the trial that Hailey Owens died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Defense attorney Patrick Berrigan told jurors that Wood was depressed and “medicated himself” with alcohol and drugs.
Online court records indicate defense attorneys argued today that the death penalty “is a cruel and unusual punishment”, in violation of the Constitution’s 8th Amendment.
Judge Mountjoy denied that motion.
The jury in Wood’s case was selected in western Missouri’s Platte County, because of extensive news media coverage in the Ozarks.